basic family nursing care 101 – diarrhea

28 Jun

When you’re sitting on the john and the toilet paper’s gone…

Does anyone ELSE remember those “Diarrhea, Diarrhea” song/saying/thingies from elementary school?? Anyone? …No?

let’s get down to business. Your loved one has the runs – what do you do??

Nothing. Let it pass. DO NOT reach for the immodium. The absolute best thing you can do, is let it pass.
You should also avoid spicy foods, diary (at all costs!! I know a young mom who swears by giving her son cheese when he has the runs because it constipates him – BAD IDEA. Depending what the cause is, dairy can give you exceptionally painful cramps and is best to be avoided!) and gas causing foods such as beans, lentils, cabbage, onions, eggs, etc.  (for comfort reasons)

Drink plenty of fluids but stay away from anything carbonated.

It’s also very important to try to down potassium rich foods. It’s hard to maintain your appetite when you’re having intestinal troubles, but trust me, it’s very important. Diarrhea and vomiting can wreak havoc on the delicate balance of your blood salts (potassium and sodium) which are important in muscle function (including that of your heart!). If you’re a known hypokalemic (low potassium levels) and your diarrhea is persistent, please contact your doctor.

When to see the doctor? If you notice blood in your feces, particularly clumps of blood, if you begin to notice signs and symptoms of dehydration that can’t be reversed by downing a couple of glasses of water, if you become delirious, if you are diabetic and your blood glucose levels are dramatically affected.

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