Velocity Care shares what to do when diarrhea happens to you and your family
Your stomach starts to rumble and you make a mad dash to the restroom only to discover you have a case of diarrhea, the name for loose and watery stools.
More often than not, diarrhea is simply an inconvenience. When experiencing diarrhea, you have an increase in bowel movements and the loose, watery stools previously mentioned. If it lasts for a week, it could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or an inflammatory bowel disease.
Diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses, and it affects all ages. It is one of the top reasons people miss school or work.
If you know the signs of diarrhea, you can assess when you may need to visit an urgent care clinic to treat your symptoms.
Causes of diarrhea
There are a number of causes of diarrhea; the most common is when a virus infects the gut.
You can also experience diarrhea from:
- A food allergy.
- Diseases that impact the intestines like Crohn's disease.
- Foods that upset the digestive system.
Indicators of diarrhea
Aside from the telltale sign of loose and watery stools, people experiencing diarrhea may also have:
- An urgent need to use the restroom.
Prevent diarrhea from occurring and spreading by properly washing your hands as well as your fruits and vegetables. You should spend at least 20 seconds lathering your hands before rinsing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer sparingly as overuse can make you less resistant to bacteria.
Warning signs to look out for
- A common concern with diarrhea is dehydration. If you experience diarrhea more than three times in a day, ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids. Water, Gatorade, Pedialyte and Powerade are examples of what you can consume to stay hydrated and keep electrolytes.
- Check your stools for blood, as it can be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Visit an urgent care walk-in clinic if you notice blood in your stool; if you experience a fever higher than 101º F; if you are vomiting and have diarrhea for more than two days; or if the diarrhea occurred after returning from traveling overseas.
- If your diarrhea lasts more than two days, you can get relief through over-the-counter medicine or by seeking treatment from an urgent care physician.
Remember to drink fluids to ensure you stay hydrated when dealing with diarrhea.
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