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Defined as more than three loose or liquid stools a day, diarrhoea is one of the most common health problems affecting children worldwide.
The most common causes of diarrhoea in children are pathogenic microbes, maldigestion, and antibiotic therapy. All of these typically result in an imbalance in the gut flora. In addition to the most obvious symptoms, diarrhoea can also be accompanied by vomiting, fever, a loss of appetite, and, very importantly, dehydration. Children can dehydrate very quickly when suffering from diarrhoea, so it is crucial to know the signs of dehydration, e.g., infrequent urination and sluggishness. Parents should seek medical advice s if diarrhoea persists for more than a week, stools are bloody, or a child shows signs of dehydration.
When a child is suffering from a bout of diarrhoea, probiotic supplements are recommended to reinforce the gut flora. BioGaia drops or tablets, for example, contain Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis which has been proven to maintain the natural bacterial balance in the gut and enhance overall well-being.
In most cases, acute diarrhoea, especially the virus-related version, goes away by itself. However, there are some tips that can help to ease symptoms and speed up recovery in children and teenagers.
Firstly, they should consume more fluids (but avoid fruit juice and fizzy drinks) to replace the water the body is losing. Probiotic bacteria can also be used to maintain an adequate concentration of microflora in the gut. Finally, WHO and UNICEF recommend supplementing zinc to aid rehydration.
In this condition it is recommended to supplement the gut flora, for example with BioGaia drops or tablets containing Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis which help colonize the gut microflora.