Diarrhoea is the name given when you suffer with repeated loose and watery bowel movements. These symptoms usually last anywhere from a couple of days up to one week. Diarrhoea symptoms can be very unpleasant and be distressing to deal with, disrupting people’s lives with people often taking time off work for example to recover from diarrhoea.
There are many reasons for diarrhoea. A common one is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), especially if you regularly suffer with diarrhoea. Your own doctor will likely have already diagnosed you with IBS however and may suggest appropriate IBS (with diarrhoea) treatment.
A bowel infection (gastroenteritis) is a common cause of diarrhoea in both adults and children. Gastroenteritis is usually caused by viruses (such as the norovirus) or bacteria in contaminated food – the latter is more often referred to as ‘food poisoning’. However, bacteria and parasites can also exist in contaminated water and cause diarrhoea.
The above are just a few causes of diarrhoea. There are countless others, such as a side-effect of some medications, food intolerances, drinking too much alcohol and diabetes.
Long-term persistent diarrhoea could be caused by IBS as already mentioned, but may also be caused by other conditions such as bowel cancer, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic pancreatitis.
The NHS state that if you or your child have diarrhoea for more than 7 days or vomiting for more than 2 days, you should ring 111. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Most cases of diarrhoea will usually clear within a few days and may not require any treatment at all. The main thing to do is drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and stay at home to get plenty of rest.
As you will lose important electrolytes in your stool, a rehydration solution containing salts and glucose can help you feeling better quicker than just water alone.
It may be worth avoiding solid food whilst you are suffering with the diarrhoea symptoms, but eat when you feel able to – you don't need to completely avoid certain foods. Taking paracetamol can also bring relief if you are in some degree of discomfort.
For more severe cases of diarrhoea, we offer a wide range of effective treatments for diarrhoea. As you will likely be house/bed-bound whilst suffering with diarrhoea, why not order with us from the comfort of your own home. We offer next day delivery which saves you any embarrassing or troublesome trips to the local pharmacy or your doctor.