Treatment of diarrhea in adults – Effective methods and remedies to relieve it

Treatment of diarrhea in adults: effective methods and remedies to relieve it

Diarrhea is a common gastrointestinal condition characterized by soft and aqueous deposits. It can be caused by various factors, such as viral or bacterial infections, food poisoning, certain medications or intestinal disorders. Although it is usually a sel f-limited condition that is resolved by itself, diarrhea can cause important discomfort and dehydration in adults. Luckily, there are several effective treatment options to control this condition.

Liquid replacement:

One of the most important aspects of diarrhea’s treatment is to prevent dehydration, since water loss and electrolytes can occur rapidly due to the increase in organism’s loss of liquids. It is essential to drink a lot of liquid, such as water, clear broths, infusions and oral rehydration solutions (SRO). SRO are a specialized formula that contains the proper balance of salts and sugars, which allows effective rehydration. People with severe diarrhea or dehydration are especially recommended.

Liquid replacement is of vital importance in the treatment of diarrhea in adults, since it helps prevent dehydration and electrolytic imbalances. The replacement of lost liquids and the maintenance of hydration levels are crucial to promote rapid recovery.

Dietary modifications:

Together with the replacement of liquids, making certain modifications in the diet can help relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and promote faster healing. It is advisable to consume easy digestion foods that are soft for the stomach, such as soft cereals, cooked potatoes, normal rice and bananas. It is also recommended to avoid spicy, fatty or greasy foods, as well as caffeine and alcohol, since they can further irritate the digestive system.

  1. Include abundant clear liquids, such as water, broth and infusions in your diet.
  2. Consume easy digestion foods such as bananas, rice, apple compote and cooked potatoes.
  3. Avoid spicy, fatty and greasy foods, as well as caffeine and alcohol, since the symptoms of diarrhea can worsen.

In addition to the modification of the diet, free sales medications can also be beneficial to control diarrhea. However, it is essential to consult a health professional before taking any medication, since it can guide the most appropriate option based on the underlying cause of diarrhea and its specific health status.

Appropriate dietary modifications can help reduce diarrhea symptoms, providing relief and faster healing. Including easily digestible foods and avoiding triggering substances is essential for effective treatment.

Treatment options for diarrhea in adults Benefits Considerations
Fluid replacement – Prevents dehydration – Replenishes electrolytes – May require ORS in severe cases – Control fluid intake
Dietary modifications – Relieves symptoms – Promotes faster healing – Avoid triggering foods and substances – Consult your healthcare professional
Over the counter drugs – Relieve symptoms – Can shorten the duration of diarrhea – Consult your healthcare professional before using them – Take individual health factors into account

Treatment of Diarrhea in Adults

Fluid replacement: One of the most crucial aspects of treating diarrhea in adults is preventing dehydration. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are recommended to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. These solutions contain a balanced ratio of salts and sugars to help the body absorb water and electrolytes effectively. It is important to note that plain water or sugary drinks should be avoided as they can worsen diarrhea or cause imbalances in electrolyte levels.

Tip: When you have diarrhea, try to drink at least 1 liter of ORS a day to stay hydrated.

Dietary modifications: Adjusting the diet is another important aspect of treating diarrhea in adults. Eating bland, easy-to-digest foods can help calm an irritated digestive system. The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is often recommended as it provides low-fibrous, low-binding foods. In addition, it is advisable to avoid high-fat, fatty, spicy and dairy products, as they can exacerbate diarrhea. Probiotics, such as yogurt or kefir, can also help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.

  1. Include plain boiled rice or noodles in your meals.
  2. Eat small, frequent meals instead of large meals.
Foods to avoid Foods to include
Caffeine Bananas
spicy foods Apple puree
Fatty or fried foods normal rice

Causes and Symptoms of Diarrhea

Causes:

  1. Infection: Diarrhea can occur as a result of various bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Among the most common causes are norovirus, rotavirus, salmonella and E. coli. These infections can be acquired through contaminated food or water, poor hygiene practices, or close contact with an infected person.
  2. Dietary factors: certain foods and drinks can trigger diarrhea in susceptible individuals. The consumption of excessive amounts of fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine or artificial sweeteners can alter the normal functioning of the digestive system and cause diarrhea.
  3. Medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics, antacids and laxatives, can cause diarrhea as a side effect. This occurs when the medicine alters the balance of bacteria in the intestine or stimulates the increase in intestinal movements.
  4. Intestinal disorders: conditions such as irritable intestine syndrome (SII), intestinal inflammatory disease (II) and celiacism have been related to chronic or recurring diarrhea. These disorders imply inflammation and dysfunction of intestines, which causes alterations in intestinal habits.

Symptoms:

  • Soft and aqueous stools
  • Frequent Depositions
  • Cramps or abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Blood or mucus in feces
  • Dehydration

It is important to seek medical attention if diarrhea persists for more than two days, is accompanied by serious symptoms such as high fever or blood stools, or if dehydration occurs. The diarrhea treatment options will depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms.

Fluid Replacement Therapy for Diarrhea

Liquid replacement therapy involves the consumption of fluids that contain a combination of water, electrolytes and glucose. These solutions help replenish water and lost electrolytes due to excessive diarrhea. In addition, glucose facilitates the absorption of sodium and water, improving the process of rehydration of the organism.

  1. Oral rehydration solution (SRO): The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends the use of oral rehydration solution as the main liquid replacement therapy for diarrhea. SRO is a simple and economical solution that can be prepared with a mixture of clean water, salt and sugar. It is available in pr e-dear envelopes or can be prepared at home with the right recipe. SRO effectively replenish lost liquids and electrolytes and are suitable for people of all ages, including adults with diarrhea.
  2. Intravenous liquids: in severe cases of diarrhea with an important deployment of liquids and electrolytes, it may be necessary to administer intravenous fluids. This method consists of managing liquids directly in a vein to quickly restore hydration and correct electrolytic imbalances. Intravenous fluid replacement treatment is usually reserved for people with severe dehydration, persistent vomiting or who do not tolerate oral intake.

Liquid replacement therapy is crucial in the treatment of diarrhea, since it helps to restore hydration and maintain the electrolytic balance of the organism.

Diarrhea fluid replacement options Advantages Considerations
Sro Economic, easy to get, suitable for all ages It may not be enough in case of severe dehydration
Intravenous liquids Rapid hydration, suitable for severe cases Requires medical supervision, invasive procedure

Liquid replacement therapy is an essential component in the general treatment of diarrhea in adults. It is crucial to take into account the severity of dehydration and the ability of the individual to tolerate oral intake when selecting the appropriate method. SRO remain the reference method for mild to moderate cases, while intravenous liquids are reserved for severe dehydration or cases in which oral intake is not feasible. The immediate beginning of fluid replacement therapy can help relieve symptoms, restore electrolytic balance and prevent complications associated with diarrhea.

Antimicrobial Agents for the Treatment of Diarrhea

Antibiotic action: Antibiotics act inhibiting growth or killing the bacteria responsible for infection. They interfere with the vital processes of bacteria, such as protein synthesis, cell wall formation or DNA replication. When addressing these specific mechanisms, antibiotics effectively eliminate bacteria that cause diarrhea and favor the resolution of symptoms.

Note: It is essential to use antibiotics with criteria and only when necessary. Excessive or incorrect use of antibiotics can lead to the appearance of pharmacorresistant bacteria, which is an important threat to world health. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if the antibiotic treatment is suitable for your specific diarrhea case.

Types of Antibiotics Used for Diarrhea Treatment:

There are several kinds of antibiotics that are usually used for the treatment of diarrhea in adults. They include:

  1. Fluoroquinolones: This kind of antibiotics inhibits the process of replication of DNA in bacteria and is effective against a wide range of bacterial pathogens causing diarrhea. Some examples are ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin.
  2. Macrolides: Macrolides antibiotics interfere with bacterial protein synthesis and are especially useful in diarrhea cases caused by Campylobacter species. Azithromycin and clarithromycin are usual prescription macrolides.
  3. Tetracyclines: Tetracycline antibiotics inhibit protein synthesis in bacteria and are effective against certain diarrheal pathogens such as Shigella and Vibrio Cholerae. Some examples are doxycycline and tetracycline.
  4. Cephalosporins: Cephalosporin antibiotics interrupt the synthesis of the cell wall in bacteria and are usually used in the treatment of severe cases of bacterial diarrhea. Ceftriaxone and cephaxima are examples of cephalosporins.

Comparison of antibiotics used for diarrhea treatment
Antibiotic class Mechanism of action Examples
Fluoroquinolones Inhibit DNA replication Ciprofloxacino, levofloxacino, moxifloxacino
Macrolides Interfere with protein synthesis Azithromycin, clarithromycin
Tetracyclines Inhibit protein synthesis Doxycycline, tetracycline
Cephalosporins They interrupt the synthesis of the cell wall Ceftriaxone, cephixima

Managing Diarrhea with Over-the-Counter Medications

Treatment options:

  1. Antidiarrhean medications: These medications can help relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and slow down intestinal movements. They are available in several ways, such as tablets, capsules or liquids. An antidiarrheal medicine of common use is the loperamide, which acts by reducing the contractions of the intestinal muscle and increasing the absorption of water in the intestine.
  2. Liquid replacement solutions: maintaining adequate hydration is essential when diarrhea is suffered. Liquid replacement solutions, also known as oral rehydration solutions, are free sale and help recover lost liquids and electrolytes. These solutions contain a specific balance of salts and sugars, which facilitate absorption in the body.
  3. Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the intestine. They are available in various forms, such as capsules, tablets or powders. Probiotics can help reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea and improve digestive health in general.

Note: It is important to read carefully and follow the instructions that accompany any free sale medicine. If diarrhea persists for more than a few days, it is accompanied by intense abdominal pain or other worrying symptoms, medical attention should be sought.

Natural Remedies for Diarrhea Relief

  1. Keep hydrated: one of the most important things to do when you have diarrhea is to stay hydrated. Diarrhea can cause dehydration due to the loss of liquids, electrolytes and nutrients. Drinking abundant fluids, such as water, infusions, clear broths and drinks with electrolytes, can help replace these losses and prevent subsequent complications.
  2. Consume soft foods: when recovering from diarrhea, it is recommended to follow a soft diet composed of easy digestion foods. Foods such as bananas, rice, apple compote and toast (Brat diet) can provide essential nutrients without causing more irritation to the digestive system.
  3. Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance of intestinal flora, which can be altered during diarrhea episodes. Including foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, chucrut and kimchi in the diet or taking probiotic supplements can help in the recovery process.

Tip: It is important to avoid foods rich in fiber, spicy, fatty, caffeine and alcohol, since they can aggravate the symptoms of diarrhea and prolong the recovery process.

In addition, it has been discovered that certain herbs and natural substances are useful for relieving the symptoms of diarrhea.

  • Chamomile: chamomile tea has traditionally been used to treat digestive problems and can help calm the intestinal tract. It has ant i-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation and relieve diarrhea symptoms.
  • Ginger: Ginger has been known for a long time for its medicinal properties, including its ability to relieve digestive discomfort. Consuming ginger tea or adding fresh ginger to meals can relieve diarrhea by reducing inflammation and favoring digestion.
  • Piperita mint: mint oil or mint tea can help soothe the stomach and relieve the symptoms of diarrhea. Its antispasmodic and carminative properties make it effective in reducing abdominal pain and cramps.

Summary of natural remedies to relieve diarrhea
Remedy Benefits
Maintain hydration Prevents dehydration and replenishes lost liquids and electrolytes
Consume soft foods (Brat diet) Facilitates digestion and provides essential nutrients
Use probiotics Restores the balance of intestinal flora and helps recovery
Chamomile Calm down the intestinal tract and reduce inflammation
Ginger Relieves digestive discomfort and favors digestion
Mint Calm the stomach and reduce abdominal pain and cramps

Preventing Diarrhea: Tips for maintaining a healthy gut

1. Follow a balanced diet: consuming a balanced diet rich in fiber, lean proteins and healthy fats can favor a healthy intestine. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to guarantee an adequate fiber intake, which helps regulate intestinal movements and prevents constipation. Avoiding processed foods and excessive consumption of sugar and salt can also contribute to a healthier intestinal flora.

  • Include fermented foods: Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain beneficial probiotics that support gut health. These probiotics help maintain a balanced intestinal microbiota, which promotes digestion and strengthens the immune system. Adding a serving of fermented foods to your daily diet can help promote a healthy gut.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is vital to maintaining a healthy gut. Water helps soften stools and prevents dehydration, especially during episodes of diarrhea. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and increase your fluid intake if you have diarrhea or sweat excessively.
Appointment:

“A healthy gut plays a crucial role in overall digestive health.”

By following these tips and taking care of your gut, you can reduce your risk of developing diarrhea and promote a healthier digestive system. However, it is important to note that if you experience persistent or severe diarrhea, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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