Diarrhea

Diarrhea is the accumulation of too much water in the large intestine that the intestinal walls fail to absorb. The immediate concern is replacing lost fluids in order to prevent dehydration. The best way to do this is by eating thick starchy soups and cereals. Eating frequently leads to a faster recovery.

Diarrhea can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites; antibiotics, allergies or food sensitivities, milk, caffeine, fructose and sorbitol from fruit juices especially apple, pear, and grape; dietetic foods that contain sorbitol; stress, large amounts of supplemental vitamin C or magnesium; or health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. If the illness lasts for more than several weeks or is accompanied by fever, severe cramps, or blood or mucus in the stool, call a physician. Because of diarrhea, beneficial bacteria are flushed out of the intestine and need to be replaced with acidophilus.

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