Normal bowel movements consist of 60 percent to 90 percent water; anything above 90 percent is considered diarrhea. After we eat, food is converted into a liquid state consisting of water and tiny food particles. This liquid is absorbed into the body as it passes through the colon. The remaining waste matter is expelled from the body in a semisolid state.
Symptoms & Causes
Abdominal pain, cramps, bloody stools, loose stools, and frequent bowel movements are all symptoms of diarrhea. Short-term diarrhea may be associated with infection caused by a virus, contaminated food or water, and medication side effects. Long-term or chronic diarrhea (lasting more then three days), may be a sign of a medical condition. Be sure to speak with your health care professional immediately if your loved one has diarrhea for more then three days in a row, or if there is blood in the stool.
Dehydration & Diarrhea
Drinking lots of water is important for good health. It’s especially important to drink lots of water during and after a bout of diarrhea.
Dietary Guidelines for Diarrhea
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle with plenty of fiber, fresh vegetables, lots of water, and moderate exercise will help your loved one avoid diarrhea. Eating several tiny meals instead of large ones may also help your loved ones digest more easily. Eating and drinking slowly, and taking a walk after meals may all help the digestive system. Avoiding excessive alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods may also help.
There are many over-the-counter remedies for diarrhea. Often, a bout of diarrhea will pass without any treatment. If diarrhea is severe, or lasts more than three days, consult a doctor.