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Upset Stomach – What Can It Tell You?
25 Jul. 2015

upset stomach diarrheaThe problem that many people call abdominal discomfort, digestive problems or upset stomach can be caused by a variety of reasons but all of them require careful attention. The term “upset stomach” is not a strictly medical one and different people mean different conditions when talking about upset stomach. However, doctors say that usually when a patient complains of upset stomach he means diarrhea (a loose, watery stool). There are lots of causes of diarrhea, medical experts divide it into two main types – acute (lasts up to 2-3 weeks) and chronic diarrhea.

The disease of dirty hands
Acute diarrhea is often of an infectious origin. It’s most commonly known as “food poisoning” which is caused by various pathogenic microorganisms – Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus. These germs get into the body mainly through dirty hands or products that are improperly cooked and stored.

Unhealthy diet
Sometimes loose stool can result from diet. Diarrhea is provoked by the excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, misuse of supplements containing dietary fibers that reduce the feeling of hunger. Thus, not only do bran and edible cellulose fill the stomach but they also irritate the intestinal walls enhancing its work and promoting too frequent stool. Unhealthy diet can also lead to obesity. It happens that upset stomach can occur after eating various dairy products – such type of diarrhea indicates lactose intolerance.

In every case of diarrhea, one should think of all the drugs that he has taken, because it’s drugs themselves that can cause diarrhea (medicines for excess stomach acid). Another cause is dysbiosis, an imbalance of normal intestinal microflora that can be induced by intensive antibiotic therapy.

Acute diarrhea
If the frequency of stool is not more than 5-6 times per day, and it’s not accompanied by fever or sickness, the condition is not so dangerous. But if acute diarrhea is combined with general sickness, vomiting, high body temperature, then one should see the doctor ASAP. It’s important to identify the real cause of the condition and get proper treatment, self-treatment won’t do any good.

Chronic diarrhea
The causes of chronic diarrhea are even more diverse than that listed above and not all of them are linked to diet. Thus, upset stomach can accompany such chronic gastrointestinal diseases as gastritis, peptic ulcer, colitis, GERD and other stomach problems. Sometimes loose stool can be caused by “non-intestinal” diseases, for example, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).

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