Health

Are you falling prey to diarrhoea often?

The answer may lie in simple things like unclean hands and contaminated food. We present a few tips to banish diarrhoea from your life.

Diarrhoea is often the result of unhygienic, contaminated food and beverages. The condition is caused by bacteria or parasitic infectious germs present on the hands, food and drinks that one consumes. Typical diarrhoea symptoms include loose or watery stools. In severe cases, the stools may be accompanied by painful cramps in the stomach and inability to digest any food.

Do you or a loved one suffer from the condition often? The problem may lie in your home, more specifically, in your kitchen.

Why do you get diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea symptoms may also be exacerbated by other stomach and bowel disorders like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Though the disease has no known cure, there are anti-diarrhoeal medications that can reduce the intensity of the watery stools and bring other symptoms like lack of appetite, painful cramps and inability to digest food under control.

The simplest way to curb the problem is to wash your hands before and during handling raw food, and while cooking. Similarly, take care to keep all food covered so that there is no contamination from airborne germs, and bacterial spread from flies and roaches.

How to keep food safe from contamination

Diarrhoea is most commonly caused by an infection in the digestive tract, brought on by the presence of bacteria like Salmonella and E-coli in food. These are commonly found to thrive in food that has been in contact with contaminated chopping boards or cooking surfaces, or in touch with dirty water, or left exposed to the air. When the contaminated food enters the system, it causes diarrhoea symptoms listed above.

  • Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap before you handle raw food ingredients.
  • Wash all cutlery and crockery in warm or hot water to kill any lurking germs on the surface. Knives with serrated edges used in chopping vegetables should be sterilised after every use, especially when used to cut up meat, leafy vegetables and fish.
  • Clean all vegetables and fruits thoroughly before use. Soak them in a shallow basin of water for about five minutes, and scrub the surfaces gently with a clean toothbrush to dislodge mud particles on the surface.
  • Clean all cooking and chopping surfaces with an antibacterial liquid diluted with clean water. Spritz it on the surfaces and allow them to air dry before using them.

What to do if you contract diarrhoea

  • Your digestive system is under a lot of strain owing to the diarrhoeal infection. Do not force yourself to eat heavy meals. Instead, consume a lot of water, freshly prepared fruit juice, probiotic curd and homemade yoghurt.
  • Rest at home to recover, because you will feel weak and dehydrated.
  • Take medication as prescribed. If you notice blood in your stools, or if the condition shows no improvement, alert your doctor at once.