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Diarrhea Symptoms

Diarrhea Complications

The most concerning complication of diarrhea from a healthcare provider's perspective is dehydration. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which means your body does not have enough fluid to work properly. Every time you breathe out, sweat, urinate, or have a bowel movement, you lose fluid. Diarrhea increases the amount of fluid lost in bowel movements. Along with the fluid, you lose salts -- chemicals that your body needs to work properly. The loss of fluids and salts can be serious, especially for babies, young children, and older people.
 
General signs of dehydration include:
 
  • Thirst
  • Urinating less often than usual
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dark colored urine.
     
Signs of dehydration in children and babies include:
 
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • No tears when crying
  • No wet diapers for three hours or more
  • Sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
  • High fever
  • Listlessness or irritability
  • Skin that does not flatten when pinched and released.
     
If you suspect that you or your child is dehydrated, call your healthcare provider immediately. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization.
 

Diarrhea Information

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