Diarrhoea Treatments & Remedies

Overview

Diarrhoea is an excessive and frequent evacuation of the bowels. May be caused by a virus, bacteria or other medical condition. It may be present on its own or in combination with other symptoms such as cramping or nausea and vomiting.


Diarrhoea can be either acute or chronic. Acute diarrhoea usually occurs suddenly and can last up to two weeks. Chronic diarrhoea continues for a longer period of time, usually more than two weeks. Chronic diarrhoea can be a sign of an inflammatory bowel condition, for example Crohn’s disease, or a chronic bowel infection.

 

 

Causes

A common cause of diarrhoea in both children and adults is gastroenteritis, which is an infection of the bowel. For adults, this type of diarrhoea last from 2-4 days before clearing. Viruses are another common cause of acute diarrhoea, effecting some for up to 4 to 5 days. Diarrhoea which lasts for over 4 to 5 days should be investigated and could be the sign of an inflammatory bowel condition. This type of diarrhoea is caused by patches of swelling, redness and ulceration which form in the digestive tract.

 

 

Treatment

Although acute cases of diarrhoea tend to be short-term, there are a number of options used to help relieve the discomfort associated with diarrhoea and aid in the body’s recovery from diarrhoea. These treatment options include anti-diarrhoeals, anti-spasmodics, probiotics and electrolyte replacements.

 

Anti-diarrhoeals work by slowing down the gut to reduce the frequency of bowel movements. Anti-spasmodics are a muscle relaxant which works in the gut to relieve and minimise diarrhoea related muscle cramping. Probiotics offer a broad range of good bacteria which help replenish the gut colonies which may have become depleted after an episode of diarrhoea. Rehydration is essential after experiencing diarrhoea as many of fluids lost will need to be replenished. Electrolyte replacements combine a formulation of salts and glucose to replenish mineral levels in the body.

 

 

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