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Health Tips / Diarrhoea

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Diarrhoea is characterized by loose, watery stools combined with intense bowel motility. This can be combined with stomach bloating and cramp and high temperatures. Diarrhea occurs due to the presence of a toxin in the bowel, resulting in irritation of the bowel wall,which in turn effects how the bowel controls the amounts of salts and fluids absorbed and secreted.
This loss of fluids and salts can be very debilitating for an adult, but is very serious for children and the elderly. Persistent diarrhea may be associated with irritable bowel syndromes, such as coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or may be a side effect of some medication. Such a problem should be investigated by a patient s doctor.

Traveller's diarrhoea is usually associated with the bacteria E. Coli, which can produce toxins which irritate the wall of the bowel. Over 60% of international travellers experience this problem. When diarrhea and vomiting are experienced at the same time, food poisoning is often suspected and should be further investigated by your general practitioner. Furthermore, travellers suffering from diarrhea after returning from a foreign destination should consult their general practitioner for further investigation.

Preventative measures

International travellers should ensure that they drink only bottled water from a reputable source and eat only fully cooked food. Oral rehydration therapy can also be started in advance by travellers to ensure that they do not become dehydrated and thus reducing their susceptibility to diarrhoea.

Non-prescription treatments

Acute diarrhoea should be treated firstly by replacement of salts and fluids, in particular in children and the elderly. Oral rehydration products such as DIORALYTE are prepared by using freshly boiled and cooled water and taken as required at intervals throughout the day.

Anti-motility products such as IMODIUM PLUS or ARRET reduce the bowel motility. 

IMODIUM PLUS, in addition to treating diarrhoea also reduces the cramp and abdominal bloating associated with the problem.

It should be noted that over the counter medicines are useful for the treatment of acute diarrhoea only. They are for short term use only and if symptoms persist consult your general practitioner.

Further information on the medicines above including dosages is available at

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00