Loose stool can come about due to different reasons. These may range from the kind of food that a person takes, to digestive disorders, to bacterial infections. While a few circumstances leading diarrhea are not avoidable, most infections can be prevented by observing simple hygiene practices.
When producing loose stool, sometimes a person may experience pain in the abdomen. If the toilet visits are too frequent, the anal region may also become extremely painful and this may also be accompanied by joint pains.
Depending on the cause, lighter condition may last only for a couple of hours to a few days with or without treatment. In rare circumstances, diarrhea may take weeks or even months to subside.
However, this does not mean that diarrhea which lasts for a day is any safe; heavy water release from the body, as in the case of cholera, can lead to death within hours.
The main symptoms that come with loose stool may include bloating, an urgent feeling to visit the toilet, and abdominal pain. At times, the patient may also experience fever and nausea.
Thirst is also a common syndrome and patients are advised to take a lot of water to replenish what is lost from the body. In extreme cases, a person may experience severe dehydration;this is what causes most diarrhea- related deaths.
Chronic diarrhea may be a sign of a serious infection. If you continue having loose stool for more than a week, or after taking an over the counter medication, it is necessary that you go for tests.
Causes of loose stool
Producing loose stool is the body’s way of reacting to most internal environment problems. If your condition is not severe and it only happens to you on a single toilet visit and stops afterwards, there is no need to worry.
However, even if you have light diarrhea which continues for days, it may be a sign of a serious problem. Early diagnosis and treatment will help you to avoid further complications. Below are some of the most common causes of loose stool:
Heavy intake of dietary sugars could cause one to produce loose stool. These sugars are usually found as additives in chewing gums and dietary drinks. Because they are indigestible, they pull a lot of water away from the body as they deposit in the rectum. In excess, they may also cause pant spots.
It is prudent to reduce your intake of dietary products when you notice that you have started producing frequent loose stools.
Viral and bacterial infection
Bacteria and viruses may come to the body as a result of ingestion of contaminated food. In babies, this may also be due to sucking dirty fingers or eating soil.
A spore forming bacteria known called Clostridium difficile colitis is widespread in hospitals and is the most common cause of diarrhea in these environments.
Lack of absorption of some nutrients in the digestive system could lead to diarrhea. This usually happens due to delayed release of pancreatic juice and other digestive enzymes.
Sometimes malfunctions happen naturally without any apparent cause. However, they could also happen due to of liver cirrhosis and other diseases affecting the digestive system.
Abdominal radiation for cancer treatment can also cause food-processing difficulties and lead to diarrhea. Usually, medications are provided to minimize this impact.
Loose stool may be one of the symptoms of ulcers, cholera, bilharzia, typhoid and other dangerous infections. The diagnosis and treatment paths for these diseases vary.
With early detection, it is easy to eliminate some of the diseases that cause loosestool using antibiotics and adequate rest.
What to do when having lose stool
When you start to have loose stool, it is important to assess yourself first before going to the doctor. If there is no much pain and the flow is minimal, there is no need to see a doctor immediately.
Ask yourself for instance if the food you consumed a couple of minutes or hours ago may be the cause. Apart from dietary sugar, some people may also react against lactose, beans, and foods that have stayed overnight.
If you believe that one of the above is the cause, do not eat such foods and wait to see if the symptoms improve the following day.
Normally, reactions against food should not cause high or prolonged stomachache. If you notice that your ache continues despite visiting the toilet, the best thing would be to see a doctor and explain the condition to them.
How to prevent diarrhea
Babies are the most susceptible to bacteria and viruses that they pick from floors. This is why parents are advised to clean homes using disinfectants.
In certain environments, and especially in hospitals, babies should not be let to lurk on the floor.
If a health center does not seem to exercise top hygiene, avoid eating or breastfeeding around that environment, and when you get home, clean yourself and change to new clothes before touching anything in the kitchen.
Filed in: Conditions