Diarrhoea is a health condition affecting the gastrointestinal tract. The commonly manifested symptoms include loose or watery stools and increased bowel frequency. People affected may need to go to the toilet more than three or four times per day. And in most severe cases, the loss of water through frequent faecal excretion can even lead to dehydration and further symptoms such as headache, dizziness or drowsiness.
What’s on this page?
As a relatively common condition with numerous possible causes, diarrhoea is encountered by most people at least once over the course of their lives. In a majority of cases, the condition will simply go away on its own, without any treatment. However, in some serious cases, treatment can be necessary, and even medical intervention can be needed in order to prevent severe dehydration.
Chronic and acute diarrhoea
The medical experts differentiate between two types of diarrhoea – acute and chronic. While acute diarrhoea is temporary in nature and is usually caused by infection (this condition is sometimes called traveller’s diarrhoea), while acute diarrhoea usually manifest either during stressful periods or after significant alcohol consumption. In a similar manner, some medicines are also known to cause acute diarrhoea as a side effect.
Those affected by appendicitis are also highly likely to experience the usual symptoms of diarrhoea, but if this is the case, intense abdominal pain will serve as a differentiating symptom that will let you know that a more serious condition is in question. So, if you show diarrhoea symptoms, but also experience severe pain in the stomach, you should seek immediate medical attention.
What is chronic diarrhoea?
Chronic diarrhoea is a condition caused by long-term illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or coeliac disease. These conditions can all lead to malabsorption and further complications. This is why if you’re not sure what is the cause of your issues and diarrhoea symptoms don’t seem to go away, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to check if you might be affected but some of the aforementioned diseases. Diarrhoea accompanied by the presence of blood in the stool is also a strong indicator that you should visit a doctor as neither acute, nor chronic diarrhoea should cause this symptom.
How is diarrhoea treated?
The exact methods of treatment will largely depend on the exact nature and severity of your condition. Mild diarrhoea cases can usually be taken care of by simply resting and drinking plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration. However, the treatment of more severe cases might be based on the use of prescription medication aimed at reducing the symptoms.
If you’re affected by acute diarrhoea, the doctor might suggest using rehydration treatment like Dioralyte in order to make up for the excessive loss of water. On the other hand, a class of medicines called antidiarrhoeals that includes Imodium and generic Loperamide, to name a few, work by slowing down the bowel movements, thus allowing the guts to extract more water during digestion, reducing the loss of fluid in that way, simultaneously contributing to the hardening of the stool.
Can I buy diarrhoea medicines online?
As is the case with most products in the 21st century, yes, it is possible to buy diarrhoea treatment online. As a large portion of the commonly used diarrhoea drugs are prescription-only medicines, the only way to achieve this is through an online clinic. There, you will digitally consult with a certified medical expert who will use a specialized questionnaire in order to determine whether you’re suitable for treatment. If a prescription is issued, the prescribed medicine will be delivered to the address you provided shortly.
Diarrhoea medicines – what treatments are available?
As mentioned, the severity and nature of your condition are the primary factors that will determine whether you require prescription medicines in order to treat your condition. The less serious instances of acute diarrhoea may resolve by themselves in a manner of days, with enough rest and sufficient hydration. However, in some cases, the use of prescription medicines might be necessary to stop the symptoms and prevent dehydration.
The exact type of treatment prescribed will be primarily determined by the root cause of your treatment. There are two main types of diarrhoea treatments – rehydration products like Dioralyte and antidiarrhoeals which include Imodium or Loperamide.
How do they work?
These two main classes of diarrhoea treatment work in radically different ways in order to alleviate the symptoms and prevent dehydration. Rehydration medicines like Dioralyte primarily aim to replenish the body’s supply of fluids and electrolytes which are lost during acute diarrhoea. Antidiarrhoeals, on the other hand, tend to slow down the contractions of bowel muscles, thus giving the guts more time to absorb water over the course of digestion. At the same time, this type of treatment will help reduce watery stools and frequency of bowel movements in the patients affected by either acute or chronic diarrhoea.
Side effects of diarrhoea medicines
While many side effects have been reported by patients using diarrhoea treatments, a majority of those can be attributed to the presence of diarrhoea and not the medicines. Most commonly mentioned are headaches, dizziness and uncomfortable sensation localized in the stomach. So while generalizations of this type may not be able to answer the question of side effects precisely, you might be interested in reading more on specific medicines that are available.
Can I take diarrhoea medicines with other medications?
The answer to this question will also depend on which treatments you are currently taking. As always, the doctor should be able to give you the most precise answer to this, so be sure to mention all the other drugs you might be taking at the moment as some adverse interactions might be possible.
Should I use rehydration or antidiarrhoeal treatment?
The main difference between these two types of treatment is their mechanism of action or function in the body. While rehydration treatments help reduce the effects of water loss, antidiarrhoeals work by decelerating the bowel movements, thus increasing water absorption. So, these treatments tend to achieve the same goal – preventing dehydration – but they do this in two different ways.
The nature of your symptoms as well as the underlying cause of the condition will be the most important factor in determining which type of treatment is the best for you.