Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools. Excessive diarrhea in children can cause dehydration, which in turn could give rise to other health problems. The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on the contributing factors, symptoms, and treatment for this condition.
A person is diagnosed with diarrhea when he/she passes loose, watery stools more than thrice in a day. It is one of the most common ailments that can affect people of all age groups. Mild cases usually last for about a couple of days. Excessive diarrhea can cause the loss of significant amounts of water and salts from the body, thereby leading to dehydration. Medical help must be sought to alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition.
Apart from loose, watery stools with increased frequency, accompanying symptoms which are indicative of diarrhea include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Bloody stool
This condition might become a cause of serious concern, if it is accompanied by dehydration. In case of infants and toddlers, there are some symptoms which parents must watch out for. These include:
- No wet diapers in three or more hours
- Fever over 39°C
- Black or bloody stools
- Increased irritability
- Dry mouth
- Tearless cries
- Areas of the abdomen, and eyes or cheeks appearing to be sunken
To find out if the child is affected by dehydration, mildly pinch the child’s skin and release. If the skin does not flatten, then it might be a sign of dehydration.
Though mild cases are not a cause of serious concern, medical help must be sought for timely treatment of excessive diarrhea in children. The treatment would involve the use of medications. In case of a bacterial infection, antibiotics would be prescribed. It is extremely essential to replenish the body with fluids to compensate for the loss of fluids. The affected child must be given Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) at regular intervals. Make sure that the child drinks adequate amounts of fluids. In severe cases, intravenous administration of fluids might be recommended.
Following certain self-care measures at home will certainly prove to be beneficial. Fluid loss can be compensated with the intake of broths, juices, and water. If the condition seems to improve, semi-solid foods like crackers, toast, eggs, rice, etc., could be given. Consumption of dairy products, fatty foods, or food items that are difficult to digest, must be avoided. Following BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) diet might certainly help alleviate the symptoms.
It must be noted that home remedies might provide relief, and sometimes prevent the condition from worsening further, but the best option is to seek medical help at the earliest.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.