Diarrhea

"Most of the time it is of infectious origin by the ingestion of water or food in bad condition".

DR. RAMÓN ANGÓS MUSGO
SPECIALIST. DIGESTIVE DEPARTMENT

Diarrhea is an increase in stool frequency (more than three per day) accompanied by a decrease in stool consistency.

Sometimes diarrhea may contain blood, mucus, pus and undigested food.

It usually does not require treatment and a soft diet and plenty of fluids are recommended.

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What are the symptoms of diarrhea?

The fundamental fact is the increase in the number of bowel movements and the decrease in consistency. Other symptoms can also be associated, such as the presence of fever, food intolerance, accompanied by nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain.

If the diarrhea is very large, dehydration may occur due to loss of fluids.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Increased number of bowel movements.
  • Decrease in consistency of bowel movements.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Fever.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have diarrhea

What are the causes of diarrhea?

There are many causes of diarrhea, although most have their origin in an infectious process acquired through food poisoning.

In children, the most frequent cause of diarrhea is the virus.

Also they produce diarrhea different inflammatory diseases of the intestine (as they are the ulcerative colitis and the disease of Crohn) and the insufficiency of the pancreas.

Anxiety and stressful situations can cause diarrhea in some people.

Certain medications (mainly antibiotics, although not exclusive to them) produce diarrhea as a side effect.

Who can get diarrhea?

Diarrhea can affect anyone. It is not uncommon for outbreaks of acute diarrhea to occur in institutions such as daycare centers, nursing homes, barracks, etc.

Since most infectious diarrhea is due to the consumption of poorly maintained or contaminated food and water, it is very important to know the basic hygiene measures to try to prevent it.

It is also frequent that people who travel to tropical areas or developing countries suffer from diarrhea.

How is diarrhea diagnosed?

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In most cases of infectious diarrhea, the symptoms are so clear that no examination is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

The history of consumption of food that could be in bad condition or the involvement of several people who have participated in the same meal is a frequent fact that helps the diagnosis. Sometimes, if there is a lot of general repercussion, it will be convenient to study the feces to discover the responsible germ.

When the most probable cause is not the infectious one, it is necessary to carry out more complete studies of the intestine and the pancreas to know the origin of the diarrhea.

How is diarrhea treated?

Treatment depends on the diagnosis and severity of the diarrhea. If it is mild, it is sufficient to administer abundant liquids in the patient's own home. An astringent diet may also be helpful. In some cases, antibiotics are required.

If the diarrhea is severe and accompanied by dehydration, it is necessary to treat the patient in the hospital to administer fluids through the vein.

Diarrhea of non-infectious cause usually requires specific treatments according to the type of illness.

As a general rule, it is not advisable to use antidiarrheal drugs without a doctor's indication, since they can complicate the evolution of diarrhea.

Where do we treat it?

IN NAVARRE AND MADRID

OUR MEDICAL TEAM

Specialists of the Digestive Department

The Digestive Department of the Clinica Universidad de Navarra is composed of a multidisciplinary team of specialists who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract.

Our objective is that each diagnosis be carefully established and the treatment plan adjusted to each patient.

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Why at the Clinica?

  • Medical specialists who are national references.
  • Specialized nursing team.
  • Endoscopy Unit and High Risk Digestive Tumor Prevention and Consultation Unit to offer the best care to our patients.

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