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General Medicine

Diarrhea in Adults

Treatment for diarrhea in adults depends on the underlying cause.

Diarrhea in Adults

Diarrhea in adults is a common condition that can arise from various causes and manifest with a range of symptoms. Understanding what it is, its symptoms, causes, treatment, and when to seek medical help are crucial for adequately managing this gastrointestinal condition.

Diarrhea is characterized by loose and watery stools, which may be more frequent than usual. Sometimes, this condition appears as an isolated symptom, while at other times, it may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or weight loss.

Fortunately, most cases of diarrhea are short-lived, resolving within a few days. However, when it persists for a longer time, it may indicate additional problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or other more serious gastrointestinal diseases. It is essential to see a doctor promptly.

What are the symptoms of diarrhea in adults?

Symptoms associated with diarrhea can vary, but the most common include:

  • Abdominal cramps or pain

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

  • Presence of blood or mucus in the stool

  • Urgency to defecate

Causes of diarrhea in adults

Diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Viruses: Norwalk virus, enteric adenoviruses, astroviruses, cytomegalovirus, and, in recent cases, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

  • Bacteria and parasites: Exposure to bacteria like E. coli, parasites through contaminated food or water, or infections such as those caused by Clostridioides difficile.

  • Medications: Some antibiotics, cancer drugs, antacids containing magnesium, among others, can trigger diarrhea.

  • Intolerances: Lactose, fructose, and sweeteners such as sorbitol, erythritol, or mannitol are also a concern.

  • Surgery: Especially surgeries involving partial removal of the intestine or gallbladder.

  • Other digestive disorders Such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease, among others.

Treatment for diarrhea in adults

Treatment for diarrhea in adults depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, the focus is on preventing dehydration by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes. In some cases, medications, such as antibiotics for bacterial infections, may be necessary to control symptoms or treat the specific cause of diarrhea.

When to consult a doctor for diarrhea

It is essential to seek medical attention if:

  • Diarrhea persists for more than two days.

  • Dehydration occurs.

  • Severe symptoms such as intense abdominal pain, blood in the stool, and high fever, among others, are present.

To prevent infectious diarrhea, it is crucial to maintain proper hygiene by washing hands frequently and following food safety measures.

Although common, diarrhea can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous if not properly managed. If you experience persistent or concerning symptoms, do not hesitate to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional, such as a General Physician, to receive appropriate treatment. Contact us at BlueNetHospitals; we are ready to support you.


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