Constant diarrhea: 6 main causes and how to treat

Constant diarrhea: 6 main causes and how to treat


Constant diarrhea can be caused by many factors, the most common being infections caused by viruses and bacteria, prolonged use of medication or food allergies.

However, constant diarrhea can also be related to intestinal changes or be a sign of a more serious illness, such as intestinal cancer, for example, especially when accompanied by other symptoms such as malaise, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Treatment for constant diarrhea depends on the underlying cause, but it is essential to avoid dehydration by drinking fluids or oral rehydration solutions. There are also remedies that can help stop diarrhea, but they should only be used under medical advice, and you can also use home remedies. Check out some home remedy options for diarrhea.

1. Infection

Virus and bacterial infections often cause the sudden onset of severe diarrhea, accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, headache and muscle pain, fever, chills, loss of appetite, weight loss and abdominal pain. However, in the case of parasite infections, these symptoms take longer to appear and last longer, which can lead to constant diarrhea.

This type of infection usually occurs due to ingesting contaminated water, raw or undercooked fish or meat that is contaminated, or from handling food without washing your hands thoroughly. Some of the most frequently contaminated foods are milk, meat, eggs and vegetables.

How to deal with: If the infection is caused by a virus, treatment consists of preventing dehydration through the intake of liquids and oral rehydration solutions. In more serious cases, it may be necessary to administer fluids into a vein.

The treatment of food poisoning caused by parasites and bacteria depends on the severity of the infection, and although it can be cured at home, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding foods with fat, lactose or caffeine, in many cases it is necessary to consult a doctor, general practitioner, pediatrician or gastroenterologist, to start treatment with antibiotics and antiparasitic medicines.

2. Prolonged use of medicines

Some medications, such as antibiotics, cancer medicines, or magnesium-containing antacids, can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea caused by antibiotics occurs because they attack the good and bad bacteria in the body, thus destroying the intestinal microbiota and making digestion difficult. Depending on the type of medication, diarrhea may be constant, especially if the medication needs to be taken every day for a long time.

How to deal with: In the case of antibiotics, a good solution to avoid or alleviate diarrhea is to take a probiotic, which contains bacteria that are good for the intestine and will help restore the intestinal flora. In the case of antacids with magnesium, the ideal is to opt for combinations that, in addition to this active substance, also contain aluminum, which helps to reduce diarrhea.

3. Lactose intolerance

Lactose is a sugar that can be found in milk and dairy products. Some people are intolerant to this sugar because they do not have or have an insufficient amount of an enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for breaking down this sugar into simpler sugars, which are then absorbed. Therefore, in these cases, if dairy products are frequently consumed, it is common to develop constant diarrhea. See how to know if you have lactose intolerance.

Babies can also have diarrhea when they ingest lactose because as their digestive system is still immature, they may not have enough lactase to properly digest milk, so it is important that the mother who is breastfeeding reduces her intake of dairy products. and do not replace breast milk with cow's milk, for example, in babies under 6 months.

How to deal with: To avoid the gastrointestinal effects caused by lactose, you should reduce your consumption of milk and dairy products or opt for those that do not contain lactose, which has been industrially degraded into simpler sugars. There are also medicines such as Lactosil or Lactaid, which have this enzyme in their composition, which can be taken before meals.

4. Intestinal changes

People with intestinal disorders and diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome often have episodes of constant diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, especially in situations where they eat stronger foods or foods that are contraindicated for these disorders. .

How to deal with: Many of these diseases have no cure and treatment generally consists of relieving symptoms with medications for abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and oral rehydration solutions.

Furthermore, depending on the type of disease in question, foods with caffeine, raw vegetables and unpeeled fruits, dairy products, oats, fatty and fried foods, sweets or red meat, for example, should be avoided.

5. Food allergies

Food allergy is an exaggerated reaction of the immune system to certain foods such as eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish or seafood, for example, which can manifest itself in various regions of the body such as the skin, eyes or nose and cause vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. It is important to know how to distinguish food allergy from food intolerance, as allergy is a more serious situation that can put a person's life at risk. Learn how to identify a food allergy.

How to deal with: Treatment for food allergy depends on the severity of the symptoms and can be done with antihistamines such as Allegra or Loratadine or with corticosteroids such as Betamethasone. In more serious cases, when anaphylactic shock and shortness of breath occur, it may be necessary to take an injection of adrenaline and use an oxygen mask to help with breathing.

Furthermore, foods that cause food allergies should be avoided. To find out which foods can cause allergies, a food intolerance test can be carried out.

6. Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer generally causes frequent diarrhea with the presence of blood, associated with stomach pain, tiredness, unexplained weight loss and anemia. If these symptoms persist for more than a month, you should see a doctor so that treatment can be established as quickly as possible. Check out 8 symptoms that may indicate intestinal cancer.

How to deal with: Treatment for bowel cancer can be done with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy, depending on the location, size and development of the tumor.