Diarrhea or diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose or liquid bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and changes in personality. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non watery stools in babies who are breastfed, however, may be normal. The most common cause is an infection of the intestines due to either a virus, bacteria, or parasite, a condition known as gastroenteritis.
These infections are often acquired from food or water that has been contaminated by stool, or directly from another person who is infected. It may be divided into three types: short duration watery diarrhea, short duration bloody diarrhea, and if it lasts for more than two weeks, persistent diarrhea. The short duration watery diarrhea may be due to an infection by cholera. If blood is present it is also known as dysentery. A number of non-infectious causes may also result in diarrhea, including hyperthyroidism, lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, a number of medications, and irritable bowel syndrome. In most cases stool cultures are not required to confirm the exact cause.
Travelers’ diarrhea is common among visitors to Mexico. In addition to practicing food and water precautions, travelers should consider bringing an antibiotic for self-treatment of diarrhea. Travelers should avoid consuming raw dairy products, undercooked meat or fish, and raw vegetables. Foodborne infections that are a risk in Mexico include amebiasis, cysticercosis, brucellosis, listeriosis, and infections with Mycobacterium bovis. An outbreak of 181 cholera cases was reported from the Huasteca Region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, in 2013.
The outbreak was quickly controlled, and the infecting strain was serogroup O1, serotype Ogawa, toxigenic, biotype El Tor, the same strain that caused outbreaks in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Although cholera is considered a low risk in Mexico, travelers should adhere to food and water precautions. If diarrhea remains a persistent problem while taking anti-HIV drugs, your doctor may prescribe a different type of medication. Don’t stop taking your medicines unless directed by a doctor. If you don’t take care in HIV medication regimen, the virus may start to replicate more in your body.
Faster replication can lead to mutated copies of the virus which could lead to medication resistance. Crofelemer is an anti-diarrheal prescription medication developed for the treatment of non-infectious diarrhea that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012. It’s sold under the brand name Fulyzaq. It was approved specifically to treat diarrhea caused by anti-HIV medications. It can also be treated with some household tips like drink more clear liquids, avoid caffeinated products, refrain from milk products, eat sources of soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, avoid greasy and lastly spicy foods.