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Saturday, July 25, 2009

All About Diarrhea

I get excited whenever I find a good article on the Internet, one that is factually correct and contains a complete set of information, not a mere hit and run at the topic. That's becoming rare in these days when Examiner.com bloggers spew any random thoughts out at the rate of a hundred articles a month.

MedicalNewsToday.com is a higher caliber of site. They just published an article on diarrhea, written by Christian Nordqvist, that I have to restrain myself from quoting in large chunks.

I will restrict myself to one critical section.

Anybody who has had diarrhea for more than one week should see their doctor. The UK National Health Service advises parents to take their child to the doctor if:

• The child is aged 3 months to 1 year and the diarrhea has lasted over two days
• The child is over 1 year of age and the diarrhea has lasted more than five days

You should also see your doctor if you experience or witness any of the following:

• You have symptoms of dehydration - excessive thirst, very dry mouth, very little or no urination
• Your abdominal pain is severe
• You have severe rectal pain
• There is blood in the stools, the stools are black
• Your temperature is over 39C (102 F)
• A baby has not wet the diaper (UK: nappy) in over three hours
• A child/baby is very sleepy, irritable, or unresponsive
• A child/baby has a sunken abdomen
• A child/baby has sunken eyes and/or cheeks
• The child's/baby's skin does not flatten after being pinched

Prolonged diarrhea can also lead to hemorrhoids and, surprise, surprise, I found a good article on hemorrhoids there as well, also written by Nordqvist.

I recommend reading either or both articles all the way through for a thorough summary of those subjects.

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