Clear Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Diarrhea is three or more loose stools per day according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Watery diarrhea is more liquid in consistency without the presence of blood. There are two types of watery or clear diarrhea. Acute cases last up to 14 days, while chronic clear diarrhea lasts more than a month.
There are about 99 million episodes of diarrhea per year in the United States. More than 250,000 of those cases led to hospitalizations.
Diarrheal illnesses are a leading cause of death among children less than five years of age. This article goes over the symptoms, causes, home remedies, prevention tips, and when to see a doctor for clear diarrhea.
Symptoms of Clear Diarrhea
Besides watery bowel movements, there is a possibility of other substances in the stool sample, such as pus, blood, or high amounts of fat. Here is a list of other symptoms associated with clear diarrhea.
Watery diarrhea can accompany symptoms such as:
- General weakness
- Painful abdominal cramping
Dehydration among children and older adults is common during diarrhea. The symptoms of dehydration in adults are the following:
- Slower repositioning of skin after being pinched
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Less urine production
- Lack of energy
Here are symptoms of dehydration in children:
- Dry mouth
- Lack of tears when crying
- Less urine production than usual
Here are symptoms of dehydration in older adults.
- Sunken eyes, cheeks, belly, or fontanelle(soft spot in babies at the top of the head ).
What Causes Clear Diarrhea?
Clear water like diarrhea will definitely concern you, but what are the causes of diarrhea that looks like water?
1. Medical conditions
Medical conditions that cause clear diarrhea are bowel infection, also known as gastroenteritis. Here are some conditions that cause this infection.
- Viruses which include norovirus, rotavirus, or hepatitis virus
- Bacteria that typically cause food poisoning, such as E. Coli, salmonella, shigella.
- Parasites, especially the ones that come from contaminated water.
2. Conditions That Promote Chronic Diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea lasts more than four weeks. These conditions facilitate chronic diarrhea.
- Bowel cancer: This type of cancer affects the bowel, and you may also notice blood in the stools
- Crohn’s disease: This is an autoimmune disease that inflames the lining of the digestive system
- Chronic pancreatitis: Pancreas are small organs which produce digestive juices and hormones. This condition is inflammation of the pancreas
- Coeliac disease: Coeliac disease is a sensitivity to protein gluten
- Cystic fibrosis: It is an inherited condition that targets the digestive system and lungs
- Diabetes: A condition in which the body reacts negatively to excess glucose
- Diverticular disease: A primary feature of this illness is when small pouches (called diverticula) form in the intestines.
- Gastrectomy: A surgical procedure done in cases like stomach cancer where part of the stomach is removed
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Condition in which the standard function of bowels in interrupted.
- Lactose intolerance: Sensitivity to a type of sugar in milk.
- Microscopic colitis: An inflammatory bowel disease that produces clear diarrhea.
- Ulcerative colitis: Unlike Crohn’s disease, this condition inflames the colon only.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of these following medications.
- Antacid medications containing magnesium
- Chemotherapy medicines (certain ones)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
4. Other Causes
These conditions or factors are short-term causes of diarrhea.
- Damage to lining of intestines caused by prescribed medicines or radiology
- Damage to intestines caused by lack of blood supply
- Emotional upset or anxiety
- Food allergy
- Food poisoning
- High alcohol consumption
- High caffeine consumption
Home Remedies to Treat Clear Diarrhea or Diarrhoea
There are cases when diarrhea can be cleared up with simple home remedies, but how to treat diarrhea. Here are some clear diarrhea treatments to provide a faster relief:
It is recommended to get the type of yogurt with live bacterial cultures, such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium. These cultures are considered to be good, and they get rid of the bad cultures that are responsible for diarrhea.
The American Medical Association conducted a study regarding probiotics in 2009. Their study concluded that probiotics help reduce diarrhea caused by antibiotics. The suggested serving for diarrhea is two bowls of yogurt per day. To enhance the remedy, eat the yogurt with banana.
Ginger is commonly used as a natural home remedy for food poisoning. It also helps ease abdominal pain and cramping. There are a couple of ways to use ginger to treat clear diarrhea:
1) Grate a small piece of ginger. Add the grated ginger to a teaspoon of honey. Then, eat the mixture. The combination helps release gastric juices and improves the digestive process. Do not drink water immediately after eating the mixture.
2) Ginger tea is a suitable remedy for diarrhea. Boil a small slice of ginger in water for a few minutes. Strain the tea and add some honey before drinking it. Powdered ginger can be used instead of the fresh version too.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy because it kills the bacteria that causes diarrhea. To make the solution, add a teaspoon of vinegar to a cup of water. Drink this solution one to two times a day until diarrhea stops.
Bananas are a natural remedy for diarrhea because of their high pectin count. The water-soluble fiber in bananas are the compounds that help get rid of bacteria.
This fruit also contains an electrolyte called potassium. Electrolytes are known to support some vital functions. It is recommended to eat a few ripe bananas per day until diarrhea stops.
5. Chamomile Tea
The antispasmodic properties in chamomile tea help reduce abdominal pains and diarrhea. It also helps reduce inflammation in the intestines. Here are the steps to making the tea:
- Combine and steep a teaspoon each of chamomile flowers and peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Stain and drink the tea.
How to Prevent Diarrhoea (Clear Diarrhea)?
Now you know what causes clear diarrhea, you should also know how to prevent it. Diarrhea comes from infectious agents. You can reduce the risk of clear diarrhea by maintaining good hygiene. Here are some hygiene tips:
- Wash hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before preparing food
- Sanitize toilet seat and handle after each bout of diarrhea
- Avoid sharing eating utensils, flannel, and towels with others
- Wash soiled clothing or bedding separate from the laundry at the highest temperature Remove fecal matter into the toilet first before washing
- It is safe to return to work or school 48 hours after the last bout of diarrhea.
When to See Your Doctor
Contact your doctor to clear diarrhea if you feel it is severe and frequent. It is important to seek medical attention if the following symptoms are present with diarrhea:
- Blood in stool
- Severe or repeated stomach ache
- Weight loss
- Dark or black stool, which is a sign of internal bleeding
- Signs of dehydration, such as dizziness, drowsiness, less frequent urination, etc.
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