Diarrhea is a common sickness that all people, regardless of age, would suffer from. In most cases, it lasts a couple of days. However, diarrhea that lasts for a week or more could indicate a severe health condition that requires medical attention.
With this in mind, it’s very crucial that you know the symptoms of diarrhea in both children and adults as well as when to seek medical help, advises an emergency physician from a top urgent care clinic in Eagle Mountain.
Common Diarrhea Symptoms
The most common diarrhea symptom is passing watery and loose feces that happen more than three times a day. If you have diarrhea, you might likewise experience a frequent and immediate need to go to the bathroom, cramping and pain in your abdomen, loss of bowel movement control, and nausea.
If your diarrhea is due to an infection, you might also exhibit symptoms such as fever and chills, bloody stools, vomiting, dizziness and lightheadedness. In addition, diarrhea could cause malabsorption and dehydration.
Malabsorption symptoms include excessive weight loss, gas, bloating, appetite changes as well as foul-smelling, greasy and loose stools.
Dehydration symptoms, on the other hand, include reduced frequency of urination, thirst, dry mouth, dark colored urine, sunken cheeks or eyes, as well as fainting or lightheadedness. In kids, warning signs of dehydration could also include the absence of tears when crying and lethargy.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Although occasional diarrhea spells are fairly common, it could become dangerous if it causes severe dehydration because it could indicate an infection or an underlying health problem. With that said, seek emergency care as soon as possible if your exhibit the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than two or three days
- High-grade fever
- More than six loose stools in a day
- Signs of dehydration
- Intolerable and severe pain in your abdomen and/or rectum
- Frequent vomiting
- Tarry or black stools, bloody stools, or stools that contain pus
Note though that you should take your child to the doctor if they are displaying symptoms of diarrhea or have been suffering from it for more than a day. Likewise, individuals with compromised immune systems and seniors with diarrhea must get medical attention as soon as possible.