Anyone who has lived life has experienced diarrhea. It is loose watery stool which exits the body rapidly and often. Most cases of diarrhea last only a day or two. It may leave you uncomfortable and perhaps even embarrassed at times. But diarrhea delivers no lasting harm. Chronic diarrhea—lasting more than three days—can be dangerous if left untreated. Dehydration, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding may occur. In this instance it is wise to visit your doctor.
An understanding of how to get diarrhea will better equip you to avoid this intestinal inconvenience, or at the very least, treat it quickly. There are many causes for diarrhea.
- External stimuli are often the culprits. Acute nervousness, stress, and anxiety can all lead to diarrhea.
- Another common cause is travel. Ask any seasoned traveler how to get diarrhea and you’ll hear things like; by eating strange foods, drinking unclean water, introducing new spices or fruits and vegetables into your diet, or even using ice cubes made with local water. Bacteria and parasites are often in the food and water found in the more impoverished countries. Traveler’s diarrhea, as it is fondly referred to, can be avoided by drinking only bottled water, and eating foods that are packaged or very well cooked.
- Many viruses are accompanied by diarrhea. Rotavirus, viral hepatitis, and cytomegalovirus are just a few. More common viruses such as influenza may also cause diarrhea. Ironically, some of the medications you may take to aid in the recovery from a virus can also bring on bouts of diarrhea. Antibiotics are robust diarrhea inducers, destroying bacteria in the body that is necessary to maintain proper balance in the intestines.
- Those with lactose intolerance clearly understand how to get diarrhea. For them all dairy products must be avoided in order to allow the large intestine to do its job properly. The same holds true for those with intolerance to gluten. In fact, most every person is aware of one or two specific foods that for them are off limits. The onset of diarrhea can be very personal and particular.
When afflicted with diarrhea drink plenty of clear fluids. Consider replacing lost electrolytes with any of the various sports drinks available. Eat foods that are binders such as rice and bananas. If diarrhea persists for three days or more, see a doctor.