Diarrhea can hit anybody at any point of time which is both embarrassing as well as painful. Especially during summers, one has to be extra cautious as in the scorching hot weather conditions diarrhea hits mainly infants, children and younger people as a result of severe gastroenteritis taking place due to bacterial infection within the stomach and intestines. The most common causes of diarrhea during summers are infections caused by microscopic sized parasites named cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis which can spread from one another in humans and even from animal to persons by contracting illness from these agents. Diarrhea can be accompanied by other ailments like abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, nausea, mild fever, weight loss and vomiting. These diseases are particularly transmitted through contaminated water or recreational water linked outbreaks. In case of animal-human transmission, it happens through the fecal-oral route which can contaminate both food and water. Sometimes, diagnosis of these conditions are quite complex, leading to alarming and chronic situations. However, to avoid these unforeseen circumstances during summers, it is advisable to follow sensible natural preventive measures which include hygienic rules that ensure better chances of remaining healthy. Listed below are certain strategies which should be adapted to avoid the occurrence of diarrhea in summers.
Wash hands frequently and properly
Diarrhea can attack you by coming in close contact with infectious organisms, viruses, bacteria and parasites like cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis which are most common during summers. Moreover, due to regular sweating in summer, it is easy to pick on germs on your hands which can spread at a very quick pace, thereby hampering your bowel movement and causing loose watery diarrhea. To ensure safety from these, it is advisable to keep washing your hands or sanitizing them at regular intervals during summers. Moreover, while cleaning your hands with soap and water, make sure to wash hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after using a public bathroom or after a bowel movement. Remember, cleaner the hands, lesser is the entry of harmful bacteria into your body.
Avoid antibiotics as far as possible
Antibiotics tend to interfere and upset the standard normal microbial balance in the intestine and can thus cause acute infections leading to diarrhea. During summers especially, you should try to curtail the in-take of antibiotics for minor infections and switch to other holistic remedies. If at all you need to undergo an antibiotic course, you should ensure having more of yogurt which can assist in combating the occurrence of diarrhea as it contains a live active culture which helps in restoring this microbial balance and preventing infection from reaching the intestines. Also, before taking any medicines, remember to read the labels carefully and if its side effects indicate occurrence of diarrhea, then consult your doctor for a change of medication to avoid further problems.
Do not eat under cooked foods
Make sure to cook foods like meat and eggs properly before consuming them as they may contain live parasites and bacteria which can result in chronic diarrhea conditions. Also, lots of water should be consumed so that the toxins and any other kind of infections present in the body are washed off naturally. Due to constant loss of water through sweat during summers, it becomes inevitable to constantly supply fluids to the body by consuming it orally. Even then if there is a parasite present in the body in its live form, you can opt for a mild antibiotic, after consulting your doctor, which would kill it in a few days and stop diarrhea symptoms from showing up.
Precautions while swimming
Swimming is a very common summer activity undertaken by people of all age groups. However, a very common cause of diarrhea during summers is through spread of infection caused by several viruses and bacteria which can contaminate water in the swimming pools. There viruses can be transmitted through a person’s rectum into the pool water and spread to others present in the pool. A person can transmit diarrhea infection in this manner for up to 2 weeks even after his recovery from the same. So, it is advisable to refrain from swimming for at least 2 weeks from the time you have been hit by diarrhea recently so as to protect others from getting it. As further precautionary measures, make sure to take a shower immediately after swimming and do not ever swallow pool water even by mistake. Mothers should be careful to wash the buttocks of small children carefully before descending them into the pool and never to change diapers near the poolside.
Avoid huge dietary changes
During summers, do not expose your body to sudden dietary changes like switching to an all-grapes diet. This can upset your internal digestive system and lead to development of diarrhea. Make sure to introduce new varieties of fruits, vegetables, milk products and grains carefully and slowly so as to avoid interfering with the body’s metabolic rate which can cause acute bacterial infection resulting in gastroenteritis and ultimately leading up to chronic diarrhea conditions.
Avoid foods which are acidic in nature
During summers our body is susceptible and prone to diseases and is exposed to higher risks of getting infected. During this time one should always keep low on the intake of acidic fruits and spicy foods like oranges and grapefruits as these can break down the stool causing diarrhea symptoms from appearing in most people. Also, foods which have a tendency to loosen the bowels should be avoided like sorbitol found in many diet foods as these can result in loose watery bowel movement, mainly during summers. Since every person’s body reacts differently to different food types, it is important to judge and keep a note of the foods which are sensitive for you and restrict the intake of the same to keep diarrhea at bay. If your body is sensitive to lactose products, forgo milk completely. Also, cut down on your caffeine intake during summers as they can also cause loosening of the stools.
Wash raw foods before eating
Make sure to wash raw foods like fruits and vegetables properly and thoroughly with safe water before eating them as these are breeding grounds for development of bacteria which can result in causing acute infections and ultimately diarrhea. Also, freshly cut salads and fruits should be consumed immediately. Remember you have to keep away from anything that can lead to the breeding of parasites and viruses which can cause diarrhea.
Adapting healthy habits
To avoid summer diarrhea, minimize coming in contact with animal feces. Keep away from any kind of infections by adapting to healthy habits. Any food which drops onto the ground should be discarded as parasites and germs are present most at ground level. Also, practicing good stress management therapies can avoid occurrence of diarrhea as many become victims of this disease due to uncontrolled anxiety.
Have more of fluids
During the summer months, make sure to have lots of fluids so as to keep your body well aerated. Drink plenty of water, but make sure not to drink untreated water as diarrhea is one of the commonest water-borne diseases as most of the infections thrive and breed in dirty and impure water.