Gastrointestinal diseases and how to avoid them.

Diseases that attack the stomach and intestines are generally caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, and some foods such as milk and fat, although some medications cause them. Diarrhea is among these diseases’ symptoms and therefore dehydration.

Who is at a higher risk of getting sick?

  • Children under 5 years old
  • Seniors
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic diseases
  • People who eat in places with poor hygiene

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is not a disease, but a symptom caused by an infection that started by eating spoiled food, contaminated water, intoxication, antibiotics, and even intolerance to milk and its derivatives, such as cheese and cream, among others.

It is characterized by having more than 3 bowel movements in 24 hours, or with a higher frequency than what is considered normal for the person.

The bowel movements can be soft, semi-liquid, or liquid.

It may be accompanied by a feeling of continuing to have an evacuation, abdominal pain or cramps, bowel movements, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, fever, discomfort, and weakness.

It can be caused by bacteria (enteric fever, cholera), viruses (hepatitis A, rotavirus), fungi, or parasites, most of which are spread by contaminated food or water.

The most serious threat of diarrhea is dehydration.

Advice

  • Drinking water should always be boiled or bottled.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid eating raw meat.
  • Wash your hands to prepare any food.
  • Keep your kitchen clean when preparing food.
  • Offer your family a balanced diet to avoid poor nutrition.
  • Check the expiration date of canned and packaged food.
  • Avoid eating food at street stalls.
  • Teach your children to wash their hands with soap and water before eating and after using the bathroom.
  • Breastfeed your baby, as it helps them develop defenses and resist diseases.

It is important to follow these recommendations and always take care of what we consume. 

With information from the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).