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Diarrhea and vomiting
Diarrhea and vomiting are one of the most common symptoms associated with digestive system abnormalities. They might appear as a consequence of many various conditions, including infections, food poisoning, hyperthyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome or brain damage. Those two ailments are frequently seen in developing countries, due to low level of sanitation or lack of clean water. Diarrhea and vomiting are closely related and often occur at the same time.
Diarrhea common causes
According to the definition, diarrhea is a state, which distinguish itself with minimum of three loose or watery defecations a day. Most frequently it appears as a result of an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract due to either viral or bacterial infection. It might also be accompanied by set of other signs and symptoms. This type of ailment usually relieve without treatment and is not serious, however in extreme cases, it might lead to dehydration or malnutrition.
Diarrhea may appear as a result of numerous conditions, and the most common ones include:
- Gastrointestinal tract infections (Gastroenteritis) due to virus, bacteria or even parasite.
- Certain food allergies or intolerance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Overuse of alcohol or medications
- Overabundance of physical exercises
Vomiting common causes
Vomiting is an involuntary expel of the contents from the stomach. It is a natural self-defense mechanism and its primary role is to get rid of unwanted or harmful substances. It affects children and teens more frequently than adults, since younger individuals tend to have more sensitive stomach. In addition, vomiting is frequently preceded by the nausea, and just like in case of diarrhea, it might lead to dehydration or malnutrition. Other possible complications include tooth enamel destruction or Mallory–Weiss syndrome.
Although vomiting is usually accompanied by diarrhea, they might occur separately as well. The most common causes, excluding those related to diarrhea, include:
- Emotional stress
- Motion sickness
- Use of certain medications
- Alcohol overuse
- Intense pain
- Severe headaches or migraines
Symptoms associated with diarrhea and vomiting
Those two symptoms are usually accompanied by other features, especially if they appear as a consequence of an underlying disorder. They may include for instance:
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Weight loss
Described ailments are draining water from the organism in large quantities. That is why it is highly recommended to provide a lot of fluids for both diarrhea and vomiting, since it successfully prevents from dehydration. Eating should not be discontinued as well, despite the discomfort and unpleasant sensations. Food deliver essential substances, which may vastly speed up the recovery. Those steps, along with plenty of rest, will usually mitigate those two conditions.
Treatment method for the severe diarrhea include intravenous intake of fluids and salts or oral antibiotics. Nevertheless, antibiotics are used only in certain types of diarrhea caused by infections, due to possible side effects. On the other hand, therapy for vomiting include antiemetic intake, which is very effective, especially in terms of relieving the features associated with motion sickness or early stages of pregnancy. However in majority of the cases, specific treatment is not required, since diarrhea and vomiting frequently relieves within 24 hours.
When to see a doctor
Occasionally, diarrhea and vomiting may be very harmful for human organism and if they are severe, they should not be neglected. One should seek professional advice if one or more of those features appear:
- Diarrhea and vomiting that last longer than 24 hours
- Suspicion of pregnancy
- Symptoms and signs of dehydration
- High fever
- Blood in stool or vomit
- Acute abdominal pain or headache