Diarrhea is a disease in which the stool or feces turns into mushy or liquid which usually happens at least three times in 24 hours. In developing countries, diarrhea is the most common cause of infant mortality, and also kills more than 2.6 million people annually. Diarrhea is not a disease that comes by itself. Usually there is a trigger, below are some causes of diarrhea:

  • Infection by bacteria, viruses or parasites.     
  • Allergies to certain foods or drugs.     
  • Infection by bacteria or viruses that accompany other diseases such as measles, ear infections, throat infections, malaria, etc..     
  • Artificial sweeteners

Based on meta-analysis in the whole world, every child had diarrhea at least once every year. From the five patients each child who came because of diarrhea, one of them due to rotavirus. Then, of the 60 children who were hospitalized due to diarrhea one of them is also due to rotavirus.

Bacteria and parasites can also cause diarrhea. These organisms interfere with the absorption of food in the small intestine. The impact of food is not digested then immediately go into the large intestine. The food is not digested and not absorbed by the intestine, will draw water from the intestinal wall. 

On the other hand, in this situation the intestinal transit process to be very short so that the water could not be absorbed by the colon. This is what causes watery diarrhea stools.Actually, large intestine not just secrete excessive water but also electrolytes. Fluids and electrolytes lost through diarrhea can cause dehydration. This with life affecting consequences dehydration diarrhea sufferer. 

In addition due to rotavirus diarrhea also can occur as a result of malnutrition, allergies, intolerance to lactose, and so on. Infants and toddlers, many of which have lactose intolerance because the body does not have or have little lactose enzyme that functions to digest lactose contained in cow's milk.

Not so with breastfed babies. The baby will not lactose intolerant because enzymes contained in breast milk lactose. In addition, breastmilk cleanliness assured, because direct drunk without drinking milk containers as the current formula with a bottle. 

Diarrhea can be a side effect of many medications, especially antibiotics. In addition, the artificial sweetener ingredients sorbitol and mannitol are present in chewing gum as well as sugar-free products other cause diarrhea. It occurs in children and young adults who have normal hormone levels and function, normal vitamin levels and has no obvious cause of bone fragility. 

Parents play a major role in determining the causes of child diarrhea. Infants and toddlers who are still breastfeeding exclusively breastfed rarely diarrhea generally not contaminated from the outside. However, formula milk and complementary foods can be contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

Symptoms of Diarrhea

Symptoms of diarrhea is watery stools with a frequency of 4 x or more in a day, which is sometimes accompanied by vomiting, lethargic or weak, high body temperature, no appetite, also blood and mucus in stools. Nausea and vomiting may precede diarrhea caused by viral infections. Infection can suddenly cause diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stools, fever, decreased appetite or lethargy.

Also, it can also experience abdominal pain and stomach cramps, and other symptoms such as a slight fever flu for example, muscle pain or spasms, and headaches. Disruption of bacteria and parasites occasionally cause stool contains blood or high fever.

Diarrhea can lead to loss of fluids and electrolytes (eg sodium and potassium), so the baby becomes fussy or heart rhythm disturbances or brain hemorrhage. Diarrhea is often accompanied by dehydration (lack of fluids). Only mild dehydration causes dry lips. Moderate dehydration, causing wrinkles skin, eye and sunken fontanel (in infants aged less than 18 months). Severe dehydration can be fatal, usually resulting in shock.
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