What is Diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea is the passage of many loose, watery, offensive bowel movements. It is a symptom, not a disease. It is usually associated with colic-type abdominal pain and vomiting.
What are the Causes of Diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea usually is caused by a viral or a bacterial infection. Most episodes last for such a short time that a search for the cause is not necessary. However, if it last for 12 hours or longer, medical attention is needed.
Uncommon infections to be excluded are typhoid and food poisoning as well as parasite infestations with Giardia lamblia and amoebae. If you have diarrhoea on returning from overseas, it must be checked out.
Other possible causes are acute appendicitis, rich food, alcohol, emotional upset and excess vitamin C.
What is the Treatment for Diarrhoea?
Your bowel needs a rest and so do you. It is best to reduce your normal activities until the diarrhoea has stopped.
Diet - How to Stop Diarrhoea
It is vital that you starve but drink small amounts of clear fluids such as water, tea, lemonade and yeast extract (e.g. Marmite) until the diarrhoea settles. Then eat low-fat foods such as stewed apples, rice (boiled in water), soups, poultry, boiled potatoes, mashed vegetables, dry toast or bread, biscuits, most canned fruits, jam, honey, jelly, dried skim milk or condensed milk (reconstituted with water).
Avoid alcohol, coffee, strong tea, fatty foods, fried foods, spicy foods, raw vegetables, raw fruit (especially with hard skins), Chinese food, whole-grain cereals and cigarette smoking.
On the third day introduce dairy produce such as a small amount of milk in tea or coffee and little butter or margarine on toast. Add also grilled lean meat and fish (either grilled or steamed).
Diarrhoea usually settles without the need for medicine. If it is socially embarrassing, kaolin-based preparations can help.
Antibiotics should be avoided unless directed by your doctor.
Please seek Medical attention as soon as possible if you are unsure of you or your family's health condition.
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Asymptomatic patients may display no symptoms of illness. Vulnerable people should get vaccinated against Influenza which protects susceptible people from, as well as exclude the Flu and H1N1 viruses should they start to show URTI or ARI symptoms.
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(Ref: Nutrients. 2020 Apr 23;12(4). pii: E1181. doi: 10.3390/nu12041181 Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections Calder PC1, Carr AC2, Gombart AF3, Eggersdorfer M4.
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Up to $400 per Medisave Account per year can be used for Vaccinations under the National Adult & Childhood Immunisation Schedule - Influenza, Pneumococcal (PCV13/PPSV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV2/HPV4), Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap), Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) and Chickenpox (Varicella).
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