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Infectious Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a health issue related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Diarrhea is common among all people and anyone can suffer from it. When a person passes watery stools more than three times in a day, that person might be suffering from diarrhea. Infectious diarrhea occurs when diarrhea is due to agents such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses.

There are classically two forms of infectious diarrhea:

  1. Watery diarrhea
  2. Bloody diarrhea

Pathophysiology

Infectious diarrhea occurs when contagious agents such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses enter your body. These foreign invaders travel to your gut, where they reside and multiply.  They may then release chemical toxins or cause other injury that leads to diarrhea.

Some toxins are specialized to ulcerate the gut leading to bloody diarrhea.

Causes

There are different causes of infectious diarrhea. Some are listed below:

  • Viral causes such as Rotavirus – one of the primary causes of infectious diarrhea in children.
  • Bacterial causes such as staphylococci, streptococcus, and E. coli
  • Parasites such as pinworm and hookworm
  • Food irritants can also lead to diarrhea

Complications

The following are some different complications associated with infectious diarrhea:

  • Metabolic Acidosis
  • Dehydration
  • Circulatory shock
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Kidney issues

Treatment

The treatment of infectious diarrhea depends upon the signs and symptoms present.

Mild to moderate infectious diarrhea: Following are some different medications used to treat infectious diarrhea.

  • Oral rehydration using water and electrolyte drinks.   You can also one of these drinks at home by mixing one tablespoon of salt with eight tablespoons of sugar in one liter of water. Add some lemon juice if available.
  • Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole are used to decrease acid production.
  • Over-the-counter pain killers and analgesics are also used.

Most cases of diarrhea are not bacterial, so supportive treatment is the mainstay of therapy.  In some specific cases, such as “traveler’s diarrhea,” antibiotics may be prescribed.

Severe diarrhea: In severe, prolonged diarrhea, medical treatment may be required at the hospital to avoid serious complications.

Contact us

In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.

When to visit a doctor:

Infectious diarrhea is a common health issue. In case of severe symptoms, a visit to a medical provider may be necessary.

Treatment for infectious diarrhea is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care. 

For more information on infectious diarrhea, see the following website:

https://www.afteroursinc.com/