Diarrhoea that continues for a few weeks at a stretch is called persistent diarrhoea. If this condition goes untreated then it can cause serious problems such as dehydration, acidosis, and even kidney failure.
Treatment for persistent diarrhoea depends on the underlying cause. For instance, if the underlying cause is an inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease, then you will have to resort to medications. Similarly, if it is food poisoning, then you should consider making changes to your diet.
What are the common causes of diarrhoea?
Chronic or persistent diarrhoea occurs due to a bacterial/viral infection in the gastrointestinal tract. Any of the following reasons can cause this infection-
- Contaminated food and water
- Food that upsets your digestive system
- Alcohol abuse
- Laxative abuse
- Allergies to specific food items
- Certain medications that do not suit your immune system
Apart from these, underlying problems of the intestines such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can also cause persistent diarrhoea. You can consult a doctor on MediBuddy to determine if you have any underlying conditions.
How to tell if you are suffering from persistent diarrhoea
In order to find out if you have chronic diarrhoea, you must watch out for the following symptoms-
- Bloated stomach and indigestion
- Watery, loose stools
- Vomiting and nausea
- Cramps and abdominal pain
- A persistent urge to pass bowels
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained weight loss
How can you counter persistent diarrhoea?
Over-the-counter medications can reduce the frequency of bowel movements but you should take them only if your doctor asks you to do so.
- Antibiotics can help relieve the symptoms of persistent diarrhoea by curing the bacterial infection. You can take these medicines in the form of tablets or your doctor can administer them intravenously. They won’t help if the cause is a viral infection.
- You can take oral rehydration solutions if you are suffering from dehydration. These solutions replenish electrolytes and fluids that are drained out of the body.
Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. You can have your share of probiotics from supplements or you can get them from certain food products like:
- Cottage cheese
- Dark chocolate
- Green olives
Certain foods can trigger symptoms of persistent diarrhoea. They are:
- Spicy food
- Onions and garlic
- Sugary beverages
- Milk/dairy products
- Caffeine and alcohol
- Vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli
Instead, you should incorporate foods that ease the symptoms of chronic diarrhoea like:
- Boiled potatoes
- White rice
- Chicken stew/broth cooked without spices
- Plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated
Also, make sure you calibrate your meals into smaller portions. This will allow your system to digest the food efficiently.
You can also try out these natural remedies at home to get rid of persistent diarrhoea.
- Sip clear soups or fruit juices: Clear soup/broth and juice help replace lost minerals and salts in the body.
- Drink chamomile tea: This tea is known to ease intestinal cramps and counters inflammation in the body.