DiarroheaDuring monsoon, it is particularly important to guard against the disease. Diarrohea, as we all know, is a condition in which we experience frequent watery stools (loose stools). "Anything more than three loose stools, with or without blood, will be called diarrohea. If there is blood associated with loose stools, it is known as dysentery," says Dr Sanjiv Saigal, senior consultant, gastroenterology, Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.
Diarrohea can be classified in following two types:
It lasts for less than 3-4 weeks. Generally cured with normal treatment and does not need any intensive medication. Chronic diarrohea Sometimes diarrohea can extend from a few months to a couple of years. It is mainly caused due to some type of infection. Poor digestion, inflammatory or irritable bowel syndrome, prolonged alcohol consumption are a few other causes of diarrohea.
"Diarrohea is a disease that has to be taken care of properly. During monsoons, contamination of water is probable and that leads to diseases like diarrohea," says Dr Saigal.
Specific causes are listed below
Consumption of contaminated food or drinking water causes it. This is common in developing countries where separation of drinking and sewage water is a big problem. Diarrohea caused by a few types of bacteria can also kill the patient if no proper medication is made available. Body's negative response to some elements If your body shows negative response to some food material, then consuming it might cause you diarrohea. for example it has been witnessed that digestive systems of many people cannot process and digest lactose and other elements available in milk leading to diarrohea. The best advise to those people would be to avoid consumption of any such thing.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause diarrohea in patients. Generally excessive alcohol consumption causes chronic diarrohea, in which the body's ability to absorb ample amount of water gets affected.
The first step to overcome diarrohea is its prevention. Washing hands before and after consumption of anything must become a habit. Vegetables, especially cauliflower, must be checked for worms. Dals and sprouts must be washed properly before consumption. Always make it a point not to have uncooked food. Also, purified or boiled water must be used during monsoons.
In case diarrohea occurs, the first step should be consumption of Oral Rehydration Solution (commonly known as ORS). To prevent too much liquid being lost from the child's body, an effective Oral Rehydration Solution can be made using ingredients found in almost every household. One of these drinks should be given to the child every time a watery stool is passed.
A second way and the very suitable and effective simple solution for rehydrating a child can also be made by using salt and sugar. If possible, add 1/2 cup orange juice or some mashed banana to improve the taste and provide some potassium. Molasses and other forms of raw sugar can be used instead of white sugar as and these contain more potassium than white sugar. The third step /stage will be extreme where you will require the use of antibiotics and extreme medicines for prevention.
The use of zinc and Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to decrease the incidence and severity of diarrohea. The Government of India has adopted a policy to use zinc and ORT in treatment of diarrohea under the National Rural Health Mission. Under the scheme, tablets are given to children of six months and above-one tablet (20 mg) a day and half a tablet (10 mg) for children between 2 and 6 months. The treatment should be started from the first day of diarrohea and the 4-day course should be completed.
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