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DIARRHOEA IN ADULTS

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What is the treatment?

Friday, 29 May 2009

Written by : DoctorNDTV Team

In most cases, replacing lost fluid to prevent dehydration is the only treatment necessary. Medicines that stop diarrhoea may be helpful in some cases, but they are not recommended for people whose diarrhoea is from a bacterial infection or parasite, stopping the diarrhoea traps the organism in the intestines, prolonging the problem. Instead, doctors usually prescribe antibiotics. Viral causes are either treated with medication or left to run their course, depending on the severity and type of the virus.

In adults with diarrhoea, it may help to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. Adding bulk to the diet may thicken the stool and decrease the frequency of stools. Certain foods thicken the stools, including rice, bananas, yogurt, and cheese. An increase in fibre from whole-wheat grains and bran add bulk to the diet.

Preventing dehydration:

Dehydration occurs when the body has lost too much fluid and electrolytes (the salts potassium and sodium). The fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhoea need to be replaced promptly, the body cannot function properly without them. Although water is extremely important in preventing dehydration, it does not contain electrolytes. To maintain electrolyte levels, one could have broth or soups, which contain sodium, and fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables, which contain potassium.

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