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Diarrhea is frequent, loose, and watery bowel movements. Though it is not a serious condition, it is quite annoying and debilitating. Diarrhea is very common during summer. Children and infants often get summer diarrhea, and in some cases, the condition is fatal. Why is it so? How can we prevent it?
There are mainly two causes of summer diarrhea: infection and irritation. Summer is characterized by hot weather, increased precipitation, and a lot of fruits and vegetables. In summer, people like to drink cold water, eat raw and cold foods, fruits, and vegetables. But warm weather and sufficient rain provide suitable conditions for the reproduction of bacteria such as E. Coli. If the vegetables and fruits we eat are clean, the bacteria can enter the intestines and cause infections. This infection is also contagious and can spread to others.
Besides bacterial infection, summer diarrhea is more commonly caused by chemicals, bacterial toxins, and other microorganisms on unclean food. These chemicals or microorganisms can irritate the intestines. The body tries to "wash away" these irritants with water, and that causes diarrhea. The stool tests of these patients will show no signs of infection.
Diarrhea can be mild or severe. It is better to get tested by a doctor to know whether the condition is an infection or irritation.
Irritational diarrhea usually resolves on its own, while infections often need antibiotics. In either case, the patients will require rehydration because they would lose much water. Salt and glucose solutions can help supply energy and balance electrolyte, which is better than plain water for diarrhea patients.
Also, diarrhea patients need to watch their diet during the condition. They should avoid oily, fatty, spicy, raw, or cold food. Light flavored watery food, such as broth and soups, are the best choices. Fruits high in soluble fiber or potassium, such as bananas, are also helpful for diarrhea patients. Here are three frequencies for diarrhea caused by IBS, parasites, and celiac disease and an album to manage diarrhea in general.
1. Wash your hands, especially after using the toilet and before meals.
Washing hands with soap or sanitizer can significantly lower the possibility of getting diarrhea as it kills most infectious pathogens.
2. Cook fully.
Overcooked is better than undercooked because enough time at high temperature kills the pathogens.
3. Do not mix raw food with cooked ones.
You certainly do not want cross-contamination.
4. Throw away unpreserved food.
Food exposed to the environment for a long time has a high risk of infection. Also, if food stays in the fridge for too long, pathogens can grow in them. Remember to throw those away too.
5. Do not share food or objects with diarrhea patients.
As they may carry pathogens, sharing things with them will increase your risk of getting diarrhea.
Remember to wash your hands and be careful with what you eat. Hopefully, you can enjoy a summer free of diarrhea.
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