Acute diarrheal disease is a leading cause of illness globally and is associated with an estimated 1.4 million deaths per year. Among children <5 years of age, diarrheal disease is second only to lower respiratory infection as the most common infectious cause of death. The incidence rate of diarrheal disease among children in low- and middle-income countries is estimated to be 2.9 episodes per child per year, for a total of 1.7 billion episodes annually. The morbidity from diarrhea is also significant. Recurrent intestinal infections are associated with physical and mental stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, and malnutrition. In short, diarrheal disease is a driving factor in global morbidity and mortality.
Signs and symptoms associated with diarrhea may include:
- Loose, watery stools
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool
The wide range of clinical manifestations of acute gastrointestinal illnesses is matched by the wide variety of infectious agents involved, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
A number of diseases and conditions can cause diarrhea, including:
- Viruses that can cause diarrhea include Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus and viral hepatitis. Rotavirus is a common cause of acute childhood diarrhea.
- Bacteria and parasites.Contaminated food or water can transmit bacteria and parasites to your body. Parasites such as Giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea.
Some effective diarrheal disease natural remedies are:
- Hydration-Hydration is very important when you have diarrhea. Dehydration from diarrhea can be fatal in young children and older adults. Continue breastfeeding or formula feeding infants who are experiencing diarrhea. Over-the-counter oral pediatric hydration solutions, like Pedialyte, are the recommended fluids of choice for children with diarrhea. Small amounts of hydration solutions should be given frequently.
- BRAT foods-Stick to low-fiber “BRAT” foods that will help firm up your stool. These include: bananas, rice (white), applesauce and toast.
- Healthy drinks-Beverages such as water, broth, juice low in carbs and sugar, and Gatorade.
Drinking 10 8-ounce beverages high in potassium, electrolytes, and sodium will aid in replacing the nutrients that you lose with each trip to the restroom.
- Eating Foods Rich in Fiber-There are many products that are rich in fiber. Some include grains and vegetables. When choosing grain foods rich in fiber you want to check the nutritional facts to make sure you are consuming less than 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Some grains you can choose from when dealing with diarrhea include bread, bagels, rolls, crackers, white or refined flour pasta, white rice, cream of wheat, and products made without added fiber.
When choosing your vegetables high in fiber such as broccoli and cauliflower you want to try to refrain from eating anything raw unless it is bananas, lettuce, or melons.