Diarrhoea: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
Diarrhoea is defined as the passage of loose or watery stools three times a day. Children with chronic diarrhoea may have loose, watery stools continuously or intermittently for 4 weeks or more, affecting the health of children of all ages.
Diarrhoea that is also called acute diarrhoea. Acute diarrhoea is common in children, usually lasts only a few days and goes away on its own. Acute diarrhoea is caused by food or water contaminated with bacteria or by a virus infection.
Causes of Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is the body’s way of getting rid of germs, and most episodes last from a few days to a week. Diarrhoea is accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and dehydration.
Food poisoning can also cause diarrhoea in children.
Causes of diarrhoea include irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, and celiac disease.
Neuroendocrine tumour’s – tumour’s that usually arise from within the gastrointestinal tract.
Hirschsprung’s disease – is a congenital condition in which a baby is born with a lack of nerve cells in the muscles of part or all of the colon.
Cystic fibrosis – An inherited disease that results in a build-up of thick mucus that prevents the body from absorbing nutrients from food.
Eosinophilic dyspepsia – a complex group of diseases characterized by higher than normal levels of white blood cells, called eosinophils, in organs in the digestive system.
Symptoms of Diarrheic
Dehydration is one of the most bothersome complications of diarrhoea in children. Mild diarrhoea usually doesn’t cause significant dehydration, but moderate or severe diarrhoea can cause dehydration that can affect a child’s health. Dehydration is dangerous because it can cause nervous breakdown, brain damage, and even death. Parents need to quickly take their child to a medical facility when the child has the following symptoms:
Bloating, Abdominal Pain, Nausea
Dry, sticky mouth
Few or no tears when crying
Cold, dry skin
Diarrheal transmission route
When touching the faces of an infected person (such as when touching a dirty diaper)
Touching an object contaminated with the faces of a person infected with a virus or bacteria and then touching the mouth or food with the infected hand.
Consumption of contaminated food or water
Subjects at risk of Diarrhoea
Children who live in families with many members, poor hygiene, low mother’s education level, children with rickets, malnutrition and children who are not exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of life… are all at risk of increasing the rate. high rates of diarrhoea.
Prevention of Diarrhoea
Proper hand washing slash the spread of bacteria that can cause diarrhoea.
Get the rotavirus vaccine to avoid diarrhoea caused by rotavirus.
This is even more important when traveling to developing countries. To stay safe while traveling:
- Do not drink unpasteurized milk (because it does not kill the bacteria that cause diarrhoea)
- Do not eat undercooked meat or fish
- Do not eat food from street vendors
Measures to diagnose Diarrhoea
Physical examination: The doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms of diarrhoea.
Tests: Some types of tests that the doctor may order for your child are as follows
Stool culture to check for abnormal bacteria or parasites in the child’s digestive tract.
Focal assessment to check stool properties
Blood tests to rule out certain diseases
Ultrasound to rule out abnormalities of the anatomical structure of the digestive system
sigmoid colonoscopy. This test allows the doctor to see the entire colon and part of the baby’s small intestine to find out what’s causing diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation, abnormal growths, and bleeding.
Measures to treat Diarrhoea
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age and general health, and the severity of the diarrhoea.
Dehydration is a major concern for diarrhoea. In most cases, the doctor will treat the lost fluid in a variety of ways, such as rehydration and electrolytes, and fluids. Antibiotics may be prescribed when a bacterial infection is the cause of the diarrhoea.
Children should drink plenty of water, which helps to replenish fluids lost in the body. If a child is dehydrated, parents should ensure that:
Administer electrolyte replacement with ore sol in the correct proportions.
Avoid juices or sodas, which can make diarrhoea worse.
Do not allow children under 12 months of age to drink filtered water
Do not give children of any age too much filtered water as it can be dangerous.
Mothers continue to breastfeed because when breastfeeding, babies have less diarrhea.
Continue to feed your baby formula.