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Understanding and Treating Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is a condition where an individual has three or more loose or liquid bowel movements in a day. In past years it has been a common cause of death throughout developing countries, and is the second most common cause of infant deaths throughout the world. During Diarrhoea the body experiences great loss of fluids which can cause dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, potassium deficiency, or other salt imbalances. However, nowadays with careful guidance in Treating Diarrhoea, the condition is easily curable.

Is diarrhoea a symptom of my body trying to flush out harmful bugs and poisons?

The evidence tells us this is definitely not the case. But research shows that 45% of people still believe the myth that diarrhoea should be left to run its course without treating in order to “flush out” your system. This can result in inconvenient, uncomfortable symptoms and potentially missing out on your social plans and daily activities. Points to

Let’s look at it in another way. We all know that one of the symptoms of a cold is a runny nose. However, a runny nose is a symptom of the virus and not your body trying to ‘flush the virus out’. Just as a runny nose will not get rid of a cold virus, if bugs or viruses are causing your diarrhoea, letting it ‘run its course’ will not flush them out. In both cases, it’s the body’s immune system that deals with the infection. In short, you can help yourself to feel better faster by treating the symptoms the moment they start.

What causes diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea can have many causes, not just viral or bacterial. Some other causes of acute diarrhoea are listed below:

  • Allergy or intolerance to certain foods
  • Eating too much spicy or oily food
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Menstruation (many women suffer from diarrhoea just before or after their periods)
  • Stress
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Diarrhoea is, in fact, a symptom of a disturbance in the normal absorption of fluids by the digestive system, leading to an ‘unbalanced bowel’.

How can I restore my “balance”?

When something upsets the natural balance of nutrients and water absorption in your intestines, your system goes into overactive mode. This leads to watery, loose stools passed more frequently, known as of diarrhoea.

Imodium contains loperamide, which works to restore the normal balance of the digestive system, leading to proper absorption of fluids and nutrients back into your body. Imodium can relieve diarrhoea, and so help shorten the bout and reduce the disruption to your life. See the example below for more information. By restoring the balance, you can feel better sooner, with the confidence to get on and take control of your day.

What else should I do?

  • Drink plenty of fluids as directed by thirst (non-alcoholic and not fruit juices or milk).
  • Drinks containing glucose or soups rich in electrolytes are recommended.
  • For the frail, elderly or children (at greater risk of dehydration), oral re-hydration solutions are recommended.
  • Consumption of food should be guided by hunger, small light meals are recommended.

When should I consult a doctor?

If you have a high temperature (over 38°C), blood or mucus in your stools, or severe vomiting that could lead to dehydration or the diarrhoea has lasted for more than 48hrs, it is best to visit your doctor.

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