Acute diarrhea lasts less than 14 days. Broadly speaking, acute diarrhea is divided into two: infectious and uninfectious. Infectious diarrhea is generally caused by a virus, bacterium, parasite and fungus.
Meanwhile, uninfectious diarrhea can be caused by malabsorption and food allergies, even drugs. However, a virus generally causes acute diarrhea in children. Whatever the cause, diarrhea doesn't need medication unless oral rehydration solution (ORS).
Don't give antidiarrheal and antiemetic. Diarrhea and vomiting are the body's mechanism to get rid of germs, viruses and toxins that enter your intestines. Intestine is like a sewage. If these channels are blocked, the dirt will be behind and increasingly accumulating; the disease will last longer.
Antidiarrheal and antiemetic are not useful, even able to disguise the real cause, so it's difficult to diagnose. In addition, these drugs can cause dangerous side effects.
The main principle of treatment is to prevent and deal with dehydration. Therefore, watch for signs of dehydration when children are with diarrhea or vomiting. Don't worry although diarrhea is more than 10 times per day, but there're no signs of dehydration, and the child is still conscious.
Signs of dehydration include:
1. Mild dehydration
Eyes are dry, shedding a little or no tears while crying. Mouth and lips are dry. Urinating or changing diapers is less.
2. Moderate dehydration
Eyes are sunken. Child looks limp and very thirsty. Urinating or changing nappies is more rarely. Skin is dry.
3. Severe dehydration
The fontanelle looks sunken in infants under 6 months of age. Child doesn't wanna drink. No urinating is more than eight hours. The skin is hardly back to its original shape when clamped between two fingers. Child is very limp, even consciousness is reduced.
Here're the principles of treatment of diarrhea:
1. Overcome dehydration by giving as much fluid as possible, every time your child defecates. In addition to breast milk, you can administer other fluids, including ORS, soup, juice or starch.
2. Give food still in smaller amounts but more often in children aged less than 6 months.
3. Don't give any antidiarrheal or antiemetic.
4. Antibiotics ain't necessary unless the cause is amoeba or evil bacteria.
5. Intravenous fluids are only given if your child has a severe dehydration.
6. Avoid certain foods if the diarrhea is caused by impaired absorption.
7. Take care of hygiene; wash hands thoroughly. It's useful to tackle the spread of the disease.
Electrolyte fluid can't replace food. It just replaces fluids and electrolytes out through diarrhea and vomiting. Therefore, the food must enter the body. You may give only electrolyte fluids in the first 24 hours, but begin to add food after, so it fulfills the nutritional needs to repair the intestine.
Milk should not be diluted because it can decrease the content of nutrients. Low-lactose milk is only for infants with diarrhea caused by disruption to digest lactose and, perhaps, chronic diarrhea, not acute diarrhea.
You may also like:
The Diarrhea Cure
Healthy Digestion the Natural Way
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies
Taking Care of Your Child