Acute diarrhea means frequent soft or watery bowel movements, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain and spasms. In most cases, this is a non-life-threatening situation that lasts two to three days and then improves gradually.
The main risk is dehydration due to loss of fluids and salts from the body, especially among infants and patients with chronic diseases.
In the following situations, contact the doctor immediately:
· Severe diarrhea
o More than one bowel movement every two hours
o Diarrhea that wakes you up at night
· Bloody diarrhea
· If the diarrhea does not improve within a few days:
o 3-4 days in adults
o 1-2 days in children younger than 8
o Infants younger than 3 years old – see the doctor immediately
· When signs of dehydration appear, such as:
o low urine output or dark urine
o Rapid pulse
o Dry skin or mouth
o Confusion and restlessness
o Lack of energy
· Having fever or abdominal pain for more than 24 hours.
· If the diarrhea is accompanied by frequent vomiting.
· When there are recurring episodes of diarrhea within the last few months.
· If the diarrhea has been developed during or following a trip, especially to areas with poor hygiene.
· Elderly patients or those with chronic diseases, for instance: Diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, liver failure, AIDS etc.
Diarrhea can be treated with diet and non-prescription drugs, such as Kalbeten®, Immodium®, Tasectan®. These drugs do not cure diarrhea but slow down the bowel movement and may reduce the frequency of the diarrhea. Medications are not appropriate for children younger than 5 years of ag unless recommended by the doctor.
It is not advisable to fast when there is diarrhea, but it is better to consume small amount of dry salty food products, or simple cooked food.
Avoid fatty and high-sugar food, dairy products.
It is recommended to eat bananas, white rice, apple puree and toast.
If you feel sick you can try to suck an ice cube.
After diarrhea stops, you can gradually return to regular diet, but you should avoid drinking alcohol, consuming dairy products, and eating spicy foods for several days.
If the frequency of the exits is not high, it is possible to continue the normal daily activities, but avoid strenuous activity, in order not to increase the loss of fluid during sweating. Children with diarrhea should not be sent to kindergarten or school.