We all know that uncomfortable situation, prospects of possible embarrassment at any moment. This is the festive season and high possibility of having a lot of this. Plenty eru! (I happen to love eru a lot). I am referring to diarrhea, aka ‘posh belle’
What is diarrhea?
It is increased frequency or decreased consistency of stools as compared to your (yes specific to you) normal bowel system.
This statement holds a great amount of truth:
‘People say love is the best feeling, but I think finding a toilet when you are having diarrhea is better.Anonymous
Well apart from making one uncomfortable, it easily dehydrates (lose of water) the body especially for children and babies (sometimes in a day).
Diarrhea can be due to several causes like a virus, bacteria, drugs (antibiotics etc.), food poisoning, illness. Non-severe diarrhea lasts only a few days and goes on its own without treatment.
So what measures can you take to manage diarrhea?
Be Ready: obviously have all your toilet accessories ready. Make sure the toilet is not far from you and do not wear tight fitting clothes that may delay the process and…ooops
Avoid dehydration: drink lots of fluids. However avoid drinks that contain a lot of sugar, alcohol or milk as these worsen diarrhea. Water and Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) are advised. ORS are available ready made in sachets in pharmacies or you can make at home:
- 6 level teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 level teaspoon of salt
- 1L clean portable water
- Mix till salt and sugar are dissolved
Drink as much as possible in small quantities especially after watery stools
Temporally change your diet: stick to low fiber foods (bananas, potatoes for example) that help firm your stool. Avoid fries, vegetables and spicy meals.
Use over-the counter drugs (OTCs): remember OTCs are drugs you can buy at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. This however does not make them 100% safe to use without help. Ask your pharmacist and read the drug leaflet before use.
OTCs (loperamide, bismuth subsalicylate) for diarrhea can be used when diarrhea is non severe.
Note should be taken that taking OTCs for some cases of diarrhea (caused by a parasite) can worsen symptoms. How? these medications prevent the body from getting rid of the bacteria. So consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking these medications.
See a doctor if:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Intense abdominal (stomach area) pain
- Chronic diarrhea (more than 14 days)
You might be prescribed some more medication.
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About the author
Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.
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