Diarrhea Prevention: Watch Out for Little-Known Hazards


Some surprise bouts of diarrhea come from equally surprising sources. Get the scoop on avoiding these traps so you can stop diarrhea before it starts.

Avoid OTC medicines. Using anti-diarrhea products may not be as helpful as you hope. They slow down your intestines so much that you may not get rid of the diarrhea-causing bacteria in your body as quickly as you would otherwise. You should only take over-the¬-counter (OTC) medication if you have mild diarrhea that is not caused by an infection.

What’s more, if you take antacid containing magnesium, you may do more than relieve heartburn or indigestion. Studies have shown that high doses of magnesium can actually cause diarrhea, and in severe cases, death.

To help you avoid both danger and diarrhea, remember this. These products are safe only if taken in the recommended doses for a short time.

Do not lose track of laxative use. Remember that taking a laxative at the first sign of constipation can lead to trouble. If you use them too often, you can become dependent on them, and they may lose their effectiveness. Overuse can cause cramping, diarrhea, and dehydration. Laxatives containing magnesium can have even more serious side effects, like breathing difficulties, irregular heartbeat, and even coma.

Be careful with supplements. Diarrhea can be a sign you have had enough – or even too much – of vitamins or supplements. For example, excessive doses of vitamin C about over two grams a day may lead to side effects such as diarrhea, digestive problems, and kidney stones.

Undercut an overload. If diarrhea, gas, and bloating seem to have popped up out of the blue, check your fiber intake. If you have added a lot of fiber to your diet recently, you could be experiencing the side effects from that hefty addition, especially if you are not drinking lots of water.

Perhaps you just need to add fiber more gradually, instead of all at once. This way your digestive system can adjust gradually to the extra fiber, and your taste buds can get used to the different taste. Try tricks like mixing a high-fiber cereal with a low-fiber favorite for a while. It is also important to drink more liquids to reduce side effects and help the fiber do its critical job.

Be wise to side effects. Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs have side effects. Talk to your doctor to see if diarrhea is one of them and follow his advice. Examples of drugs that may cause diarrhea include Viagra, some antibiotics, and the beta blockers used to control blood pressure.

Being exposed to fire is no joke. It can cause serious and permanent damages to the body. Hence, it is always best to know the proper preventive measures in order to avoid the danger of burns.

First Aid Treatments

For superficial burns, prepare a solution of vinegar, water, and two heaping teaspoonfuls of baking soda or a rounded teaspoonful of common salt in a one pint container (450 cc). Any soothing or protective grease, such as petroleum or 5% csulfathiazole ointment, can be used as a substitute. However, application of grease is not ideal if the burn is to be checked up by a physician in the future.

For deep or extensive burns, put the patient to bed, removing clothing from burned areas carefully. If the clothing adheres to the skin, cut out the adherent portions and remove the rest of the clothing so the patient can be undresses. Be careful not to tear the skin or other tissues in the body. Do not let the patient become chilled because of the danger of shock. Send for a physician at once.

After the burn, one of the greatest perils is infection. As soon as possible, and continuously until the physician arrives, cover the burned areas with sterile gauze, kept wet with a solution of baking soda or common salt to keep out dirt and keep the gauze from sticking to the raw flesh. Never put absorbent cotton next to the skin as a dressing over a burned area. Before preparing and handling any dressing for a burn, be sure your hands are clean, and preferably rinsed in a Lysol solution and dried on a clean towel.

Preventive Measures

The prevention of burns is obviously an important objective. Since a burn may be fatal, crippling, or permanently disfiguring, you should know how to protect yourself against burns. Here are several useful preventive measures against burns and fire:

When going outside, do not forget to apply sun-screen lotion on your skin. Make sure that it contains at least 98% UV protection to ensure that the heat of the sun will not cause your skin to burn.

Fireproof your home. Install smoke alarms and plan emergency exits. Moreover, make sure that your child wears appropriate protective gear. Teach him to observe safety precautions when he is around heat or radiation.

Be cautious with uncovered electric wires. Do not touch wires and electric outlets with wet, bare hands. Discard extension cords with a pronged plug on one end and a bulb socket on the other as these are hazardous.

Teach children safety rules about handling matches and electrical outlets. If there are small children on the house, ensure that there are safety caps on unused outlets.