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Global Burden

33.4 Modes of transmission of diarrhoeal diseases

Similarly, breastfed babies often pass loose, pasty stools. This is normal. It is not diarrhea. Here are some key points about diarrhea. More detail and supporting information is in the body of this article. Most cases of diarrhea are caused by an infection in the gastrointestinal tract. The microbes responsible for this infection include:. The most commonly identified causes of acute diarrhea in the United States are the bacteria Salmonella , Campylobacter , Shigella , and Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Some cases of chronic diarrhea are called "functional" because a clear cause cannot be found.

In the developed world, irritable bowel syndrome IBS is the most common cause of functional diarrhea. IBS is a complex of symptoms. There is cramping abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation , or both. Inflammatory bowel disease IBD is another cause of chronic diarrhea. It is a term used to describe either ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

There is often blood in the stool in both conditions. Mild cases of acute diarrhea may resolve without treatment. Persistent or chronic diarrhea will be diagnosed and any underlying causes will be treated in addition to the symptoms of diarrhea. There is some concern that antidiarrheal medications could prolong bacterial infection by reducing the removal of pathogens through stools.

Antibiotics are only used to treat diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection.

Diarrheal Diseases – Acute and Chronic

If the cause is a certain medication, switching to another drug might be possible. Nutritionists from Stanford Health Care offer some nutritional tips for diarrhea:. Foods and drinks that might make the diarrhea worse include:. There is mixed evidence for the role of probiotics in diarrhea. They may help prevent traveler's diarrhea. In children, there is evidence that they might reduce diarrheal illness by 1 day. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea might be reduced by the use of probiotics, as may diarrhea related to Clostridium difficile , although the evidence is mixed.

People should ask their doctor for advice, as there are numerous strains. The strain most studied for antibiotic-associated diarrhea are probiotics based on Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii. Probiotics to help with Clostridium difficile and antibiotic diarrheas were investigated in a trial published in The Lancet.

Diarrhea - Wikipedia

They found no evidence that a multi-strain preparation of bacteria was effective in preventing these conditions, calling for a better understanding of the development of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Probiotics are available in capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids, and may be purchase online. If these accompany diarrhea, or if the diarrhea is chronic, it may indicate a more serious illness.

Two potentially serious complications of diarrhea are:. Diarrhea can also be a sign of a wide range of underlying chronic conditions. These conditions need to be diagnosed treated to prevent further problems. The doctor will ask about the symptoms and about any current medications, past medical history, and other medical conditions.

Most cases of diarrhea resolve without treatment, and a doctor will often be able to diagnose the problem without tests. However, in more severe cases, a stool test may be needed, especially if the patient is very young or old. If a person has chronic or persistent diarrhea, the doctor will order tests according to the suspected underlying cause.

Diarrhea often resolves without specialist medical treatment, but sometimes it is important to seek a doctor's help. Infants under 1 year should see a doctor if they have had 6 bouts of diarrhea or 3 bouts of vomiting within 24 hours. Children over 1 year should see a doctor if they have had 6 episodes or more of diarrhea in 24 hours, or if there is diarrhea and vomiting at the same time. Anyone who experiences diarrhea after surgery, after spending time in hospital, or after using antibiotics, should seek medical assistance.

Diagnosis of Malaria Communicable Diseases Module: 8. Leprosy Diagnosis Communicable Diseases Module: About this course 84 hours study 1 Level 1: Introductory Course description. Communicable Diseases If you create an account, you can set up a personal learning profile on the site. Create account See more courses. Figure Table Diarrhoeal disease Main modes of transmission Cholera Contaminated water or food summarised in Figure Severe diarrhea may indicate a serious disease, making it important to consult your child's health care provider if any or all of the following symptoms persist:.

The symptoms of diarrhea may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's health care provider for a diagnosis. You should call your health care provider if your child is less than 6 months of age or presents any of the following symptoms:.

In addition to a complete medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests for blood and urine, the child's health care provider may request:. Specific treatment for diarrhea will be determined by your child's health care provider based on:. Treatment usually involves replacing lost fluids.

Antibiotics may be prescribed when bacterial infections are the cause. To replace the body fluids that are lost with diarrhea, children should drink fluids liberally. If they are dehydrated, a glucose-electrolyte solution for example, Pedialyte or Infalyte should be given to help the body absorb fluid more easily.

Causes Include Viruses, Bacteria, and Parasites

These fluids have the right balance of water, sugar, and salts, and some are available as popsicles. Avoid juice or soda because these drinks may make diarrhea worse. Too much plain water at any age can be dangerous. Do not give plain water to infants. As a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, we are uniquely qualified to provide emergency care for children, from the design of the department to our highly skilled professionals who understand the special needs of younger, smaller patients.

Our gastroenterology experts provide expert diagnosis and treatments for children with digestive, liver and nutrition disorders. Share your birthday with a child.

What is Diarrheal Diseases?

Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Around Thanksgiving during her sophomore year of high school, Katheryn felt like throwing up after dinner. She began to throw up regularly, but frustratingly didn't know why. After seeing multiple doctors, Katheryn was finally diagnosed correctly.