Diarrhoea is a condition where you frequently pass stools in liquid form. It is often self-limiting and subsides after 5 days until 1 week for adults. In children, diarrhoea often subsides after 4 days.
This digestive condition is very common and is often nothing to concern yourself too much with. Almost everyone has experienced at least one diarrhoeal episode in their lives.
Extended diarrhoea bouts may be dangerous, though. Immediately speak to a doctor if you or your child’s diarrhoea doesn’t go away within the usual timeline of infection.
Diarrhoea often presents with the following symptoms:
Diarrhoea causes large water losses in the body, so you also need to be vigilant for the signs of dehydration. More on this will be tackled later.
There are plenty of possible culprits that caused your diarrhoeal infection. The most common one is a gut infection, also known as gastroenteritis or stomach flu. Gut infection could be a result of any of the following factors:
Indeed, diarrhoea could be present as a symptom of the following conditions:
Medical conditions that present with diarrhoea include:
Diarrhoea in children and babies
Children and babies can generally be looked after at home if they have diarrhoea. But do remember that they can easily get dehydrated – severe dehydration may occur within 24 hours of diarrhoeal episodes. Take your baby or toddler to the physician if he shows the following symptoms:
If it has been 5 days since the diarrhoeal onset and it still persists, talk to your doctor to uncover the reasons behind the illness. Mobidoctor GPs can see you and your baby/toddler via online video consultation.
Mild diarrhoea is usually manageable at home. See a doctor right away if you experience any of the following:
Diarrhoea diagnosis starts with a face-to-face doctor consultation. You’ll be asked about your recent toilet habits, symptoms, any medications you’re currently taking, or whether you’ve caught the illness somewhere or from anyone you know. Severe diarrhoea cases will necessitate a stool examination, where you submit a stool sample and it’s taken to a laboratory for further analysis.
Diarrhoea usually subsides on its own:
Longer durations of diarrhoea might indicate serious conditions, so speak right away to a doctor.
There are some anti-diarrhoeal medications you may take to help control your bowel movement. These include racecadotril and loperamide. Your doctor can prescribe them for you as needed depending on the severity of your diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea can make you dehydrated as you lose a lot of water after your bowel movements. Dehydration is a serious complication; hence, it is crucial to spot its symptoms readily. This rings true especially for children and babies.
The following are the general symptoms of dehydration:
Apart from these, babies and children may also exhibit the following:
Urgently seek medical help when you notice these symptoms in your child or baby.
Protect yourself from catching diarrhoea through the following means:
Mobidoctor’s GPs can listen to you discuss your symptoms and give you an accurate diagnosis of your diarrhoeal condition. They can prescribe medications if needed, and they can advise you on the steps you must follow to help your diarrhoea subside as soon as possible. Book an online appointment and see a doctor within minutes.