Diarrhea is a common illness in high school. It often goes away on its own, but sometimes it’s a sign of a more serious condition.
High school diarrhea can be caused by many different things, including an infection or a virus. It can also be the result of a reaction to food or medication.
Symptoms of high school diarrhea include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Watery, foul-smelling stool
The most common causes of high school diarrhea are norovirus and rotavirus. Norovirus is a common cause of food poisoning and can spread through food or water that’s been contaminated.
It’s easy to prevent norovirus: Wash your hands, and don’t reuse cups, plates, or glasses.
Rotavirus is also spread through contaminated food or water. It can cause symptoms similar to norovirus, but it’s more common in young children.
Symptoms of rotavirus in children include:
- Abdominal pain
- Fast, shallow breathing
In some cases, diarrhea from a virus or bacteria can be severe and life-threatening. If you think you have diarrhea and it’s the result of a virus, call your doctor.
Other causes of diarrhea in high school
There are many other types of diarrhea, including:
- Gastroenteritis: This is an inflammation of the stomach or intestines. It can be caused by eating something that’s contaminated with campylobacter or salmonella.
- Food poisoning: This is an infection caused by bacteria or viruses. The symptoms are similar to those of gastroenteritis.
- Diarrhea triggered by medication: Diarrhea is a common side effect of some antibiotics and other medications.
- Food intolerance: A food intolerance is when your body doesn’t like a certain food. This can cause diarrhea and other symptoms.
- Diarrhea caused by an underlying condition: It’s possible for diarrhea to be a symptom of an underlying health condition.
Food poisoning is a type of diarrhea that’s caused by eating contaminated food. It spreads quickly and can be fatal.
Symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Sudden onset of vomiting, nausea, and/or abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea that’s watery and/or bloody
Some common causes of food poisoning include:
- Campylobacter, a bacteria that can be found in undercooked or raw poultry and meat
- Salmonella, a bacteria that can be found in undercooked or raw ground beef and other meats
- Shigella, a bacteria that can cause dysentery
- Listeria, a bacteria that can cause food poisoning and watery diarrhea
Diarrhea triggered by medication
Diarrhea is a common side effect of some medications. Some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
Diarrhea caused by an underlying condition can also be a symptom of another condition. For example, an underlying condition like Crohn’s can cause diarrhea. It can also cause bloody diarrhea.
If you think you have diarrhea and it’s caused by an underlying condition, let your doctor know.
Diarrhea caused by other factors
Sometimes, there’s no obvious cause for diarrhea. This is called idiopathic diarrhea.
Idiopathic diarrhea can be:
- Diarrhea that lasts more than two weeks
Severe diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
- Diarrhea that’s severe and not going away
- Diarrhea that’s accompanied by fever
Diarrhea in infants
Diarrhea in infants is usually caused by something they ate or drank. It can also be caused by an underlying condition.
In some cases, diarrhea in an infant is a symptom of an underlying condition. For example, in infants with inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea is a common symptom.
Diarrhea in adults
Diarrhea is a symptom of many different conditions, including:
- Gastroenteritis: This is inflammation of the stomach or intestines.
- Food poisoning: This is an infection caused by bacteria or viruses.
- Diarrhea triggered by medication: Diarrhea is a common side effect of some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.
If you think you have a condition that’s causing diarrhea, call your doctor. They can check for an underlying condition and help you find the right treatment.
How is it diagnosed?
Diarrhea can be hard to diagnose because it can be so variable. It can be caused by many different things, so it can be tricky to figure out what’s behind your symptoms.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. They may also order a stool test.
Diarrhea may be caused by many different things, so it can be difficult to figure out what’s causing your symptoms. Here are some of the tests your doctor may order to figure out what’s causing your diarrhea.
A stool sample is the best test to see if you have an infection or other condition causing your diarrhea.
Your doctor will take a small sample of your stool. You may be asked to stay completely still for this test.
After the test, your doctor will send the sample to a lab. They’ll look at it for signs of a bacterial infection, such as campylobacter, salmonella, or shigella.
A blood test can tell your doctor if you have an infection, such as Salmonella, E. coli, or Shigella.
Your doctor may order a blood test if you have bloody diarrhea. Blood tests can also help your doctor check for certain antibodies, which are proteins in your blood that can help your doctor identify an infection.
An ultrasound can help your doctor look for an obstruction in your intestines. If your doctor sees an obstruction, they can order an X-ray to check for blockages in your intestines.
How is it treated?
Treatment for diarrhea depends on the cause.
For example, if you have food poisoning, you’ll likely be given a prescription medication to help you get better.
If you have an infection, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic.
If you have a food intolerance, you may need to eliminate or reduce your intake of the food.
If you have gastroenteritis, your doctor may prescribe fluids to help you rehydrate.
The bottom line
Diarrhea is a common illness in high school. It can be caused by many different things, including infection and certain medications.
It can also be the result of an underlying health condition. Let your doctor know if you think you have diarrhea and it’s the result of an underlying health condition.
Diarrhea can be painful and can be a serious condition. Call your doctor if you think you have diarrhea.
If you’re in a high-risk group or have a serious underlying condition or another condition that can cause diarrhea, let your doctor know. If you have a fever, loss of appetite, or other symptoms of an infection, call your doctor.
If you think you have an infection, let your doctor know so they can do a test to check for the cause of your diarrhea.
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