Dehydration is often associated with diarrhoea, but this is not always the case. Many diseases can cause diarrhoea, but dehydration is not always a factor. Here we look at some of the most common causes and effects of diarrhoea.

Firstly, dehydration can be caused by just about anything: with too little water or insufficient fluid intake, the body’s system may not be able to flush out the water that is being taken in. This can result in diarrhoea and dehydration symptoms.

Dehydration can also be a side effect of certain medications, particularly those that are anticholinergic. People who take this class of drugs are more prone to dehydration as they can not flush out the drugs as well as normal people.

Hence, this is not the only reason for diarrhoea caused by the medication

These are the main causes of diarrhoea, but dehydration is often more complicated than just that. The symptoms of dehydration are often similar to the symptoms of some other medical conditions things like low blood pressure, pain or nausea. Another symptom of major dehydration is severe thirst.

This symptom is often associated with dehydration, but it can also be a side effect of taking diuretics. Diuretics are used to control the water levels in the body to treat certain medical conditions such as kidney failure.


One more cause of diarrhoea is dysentery, which is caused by one of the bacteria that cause this condition, known as Staphylococcus aureus. Other forms of dysentery are also caused by other bacteria and viruses and can include Clostridium Difficile.

Clostridium difficile is also known as Clostridioides difficile and often referred to as C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

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The illness from Clostridium difficile most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities and typically occurs after use of antibiotic medications.

However, studies show increasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection among people traditionally not considered to be at high risks, such as young and healthy individuals who haven’t used antibiotics and who haven’t been in a health care facility. Learn more

This form of diarrhoea can cause severe dehydration, which makes it even more important to ensure that people who are affected by dysentery drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fibre.

Other bacteria that can cause diarrhoea include

Streptococcus pneumoniae

This is a bacteria that is commonly found in the nose and throat. The bacteria can sometimes cause severe illness in children, the elderly and other people with weakened immune systems. It is the most common cause of middle ear infections, sepsis (blood infection) in children and pneumonia in immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

Streptococcus pneumoniae can also cause meningitis (inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord) or sinus infections. It is considered invasive when it is found in the blood, spinal fluid or other normally sterile sites (sites where it is not commonly found).

Haemophilus influenzae

This is a type of bacterium that grows in the upper airways of adults and children, normally without causing any disease. Haemophilus influenzae type b, known as Hib for short, is one of 6 types that have been described.

The type b of the bacteria can cause some serious life-threatening conditions, including meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and epiglottitis (inflammation of the epiglottis the small cartilage at the base of your tongue that closes off your voice box when you eat or drink). Learn more

Group B streptococci

This is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. The bacterium is usually harmless in healthy adults. In newborns, however, it can cause a serious illness known as group B strep disease.

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Group B strep can also cause dangerous infections in adults with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease. Older adults are at increased risk of illness due to group B strep, too.

If you’re a healthy adult, there’s nothing you need to do about group B strep. If you’re pregnant, get a group B strep screening test during your third trimester. If you have group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labour can protect your baby. Continue reading

Klebsiella pneumoniae

This is a gram-negative, encapsulated, non-motile bacterium that is found in the environment and has been associated with pneumonia in patient populations with alcohol use disorder or diabetes mellitus.

The bacterium typically colonizes human mucosal surfaces of the oropharynx and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Once the bacterium enters the body, it can display high degrees of virulence and antibiotic resistance.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of a handful of bacteria that are now experiencing a high rate of antibiotic resistance secondary to alterations in the core genome of the organism.

The main reservoirs of infection are the patient’s gastrointestinal tract and the hands of hospital personnel. It can lead to a nosocomial outbreak. However, higher rates of colonization have been reported in those of Chinese ethnicity and those who experience chronic alcoholism. Continue reading

These types of bacteria are often resistant to antibiotics, which can lead to severe dehydration. So it is best to ensure that people taking antibiotics have enough fluids to go around.

Diet and hydration can help many people to live longer and healthier lives without relying on modern medicine, but it can also provide a natural alternative treatment for diarrhoea. A lack of liquids can make diarrhoea even more dangerous, as the diarrhoea can enter the bloodstream, where it can be easily passed on to other people.

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This is why a lot of people who have diarrhoea can be very thirsty – as well as being dehydrated, they are also very thirsty. Several common causes of diarrhoea can be helped by dietary change and hydration, and this is probably the most common cause.

Lack of fluids and dehydration can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious problem

If a person has severe dehydration, they may feel like they are losing weight and this can cause many problems especially in a dehydrated person who needs to lose weight in order to survive.

Lack of water is often associated with severe dehydration, and so you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you find yourself experiencing these symptoms. Some of the more common causes of diarrhoea can be treated through diet and hydration.

For example, there are a number of dietary changes that can be made to help a person who is dehydrated. Lactose intolerant people can have drinks with low lactose content, while rice and barley can be effective in reducing the volume of diarrhoea.

Vegetables can be eaten rather than a small drink of water, as can fruit. Adding foods that are high in fibre and low in carbohydrates to a sufferer’s diet can also help with diarrhoea and constipation.

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