Diarrhea can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It can also dangerous for your health if at last a long time. Most bouts of diarrhea last one to two days and then go away on their own. Chronic, or persistent, diarrhea typically lasts anywhere from two to four weeks. Treatment for persistent diarrhea can vary based on the cause of the illness.
It can hard to identify the cause of chronic diarrhea. Some possible origins include parasites, bacteria, viruses, intestinal diseases, medications, food allergies, tumors, intestinal ailments, and compromised immune systems that result from conditions including HIV/AIDS. In order to establish a diagnosis, a doctor may perform a blood or stool test. If these are inconclusive, an x-ray or endoscopy may be performed. An endoscopy involves sticking a tube in a patient’s rectum or mouth so a physician can view the inside of the intestines. Ultimately, in may be impossible to determine the cause of the disease.
Some groups of individuals are at a greater risk for dangerous complications if they contract persistent diarrhea. The cause of the diarrhea, health of the patient and their age are all factors in how a case of diarrhea may affect someone. The elderly, young children and people with comprised immune systems, including those with HIV/AIDS, all have a greater risk level for being adversely impacted by diarrhea. Children who live in third world countries may risk death if they have serious diarrhea due to inadequate health care and lack of access to clean drinking water.
Treatment recommendations for chronic diarrhea are based on the cause. Health care professionals are the best sources for this information. Antibiotics and other drugs are sometimes prescribed. Patients may respond differently depending on the drug. Phytonutrient supplements can also aid people who have diarrhea. They are nutritional support that can provide important nutrients. Other benefits of using them include they can encourage the growth of useful bacteria in the intestines and stomach, and may decrease the frequency of diarrhea. In attention to any prescribed treatment, anyone who suffers from diarrhea should drink plenty of water to help prevent dehydration. Beverages that contain caffeine such as soda, coffee and tea should be avoided as they may lead to dehydration. Drinking alcohol can also contribute to dehydration. Taking a fiber supplement or eating foods that contain a lot of fiber. Foods rich in fiber include certain grains, nuts, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
If you contract a case of diarrhea that lasts more than two weeks, you should seek medical attention. Chronic diarrhea that goes untreated, can have serious ramifications for your health.