TIP #14: TREAT DIARRHOEA PROMPTLY AND PROPERLY: the best way to stay alive when “life” is pouring out!

“Diarrhea disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in children under five years old. It is both preventable and treatable.” — WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION

Passing loose watery stools? No need wasting any time! Act fast. And now!

Take a lot of fluid. Dehydration (loss of body water) is one of the main causes of death when one is “purging”. Go to a pharmacy and get ORS/ORT, prepare it and start taking immediately. Keep on drinking, even if you are vomiting — most of it will be absorbed; only less of it is vomited. DRINK. Drink. Sip, don’t gulp or guzzle! Take regular, frequent sips; its better than rushing the fluid, all at once! 

Buy Zinc tablets from the pharmacy. Zinc supplements reduce the duration of a purging by 25% and the volume of stool by 30%.

Wash your hands frequently and properly. Continue eating. Breast milk is best (Note: For babies only!) Have plenty of rest.

See a doctor if it is a child (especially below the age of five), if you are pregnant, or if you are elderly (say, 65 years and above); if you become too weak, drowsy, or dizzy; if your body is very hot; if there is blood in your stool; if you seem to vomit “everything” you take in; if there’s severe, “stomach” pain; if you have HIV/AIDS, diabetes, heart disease, or any serious disease; if several people in your neighborhood are also passing watery stool; if the “purging” lasts more than 3 days.

The earlier, the better.

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Dr. 'Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!