DIARRHEA; Causes,signs & symptoms, prevention and Treatment


Diarrhoea is the passage of 3 or more loose or liquid stools per day, or more frequently than is normal for the individual. It is usually a symptom of gastrointestinal infection, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms. Infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking-water, or from person to person as a result of poor hygiene.

Severe diarrhoea leads to fluid loss, and may be life-threatening, particularly in young children and people who are malnourished or have impaired immunity.


  • Gastro intestinal conditions.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Viral diseases such as HIV/Aids.
  • Rotavirus which is responsible for over 70% of diarrhea in children below 2 years.
  • Drug Induced.
  • Gut allergy,
  • Psychogenic stress.
  • Metabolic and Endocrine cause (diabetes etc)


  • Passing of watery stool with varying volume sometimes associated with vomiting.
  • Bloody mucoid stool if there is disease in the colon,
  • Fever
  • Abdominal Pain / discomfort.
  • Dehydration,
  • Rapid pulse
  • Low Blood pressure.


  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding.
  • Intestinal Perforation.
  • Septicaemia
  • Paralytic Illeus.
  • Hypovolaemic Shock.


  • Stool microscopy, culture and sensitivity.
  • Full blood count.
  • Urea, Electrolyte and Creatinine.
  • Widal test.


There should be good source of water.

Proper Refuse Disposal.

Good Personal/ Environmental hygiene.


  • Adequate hydration with Oral Rehydration Therapy. This can be prepared locally(Method of preparation to be discussed later) and can also be purchase in a pharmacy stores as well as over the counter.
  • Use of zinc supplement .This supplement is taken 20 mg for 14 days and 10mg for children below 6 months of age.
  • The Primary cause of diarrhea is being treated after ascertaining the cause/ causative factors.




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