Diarrhea and a cold are fairly common occurrences, and many people may find that the two illnesses occur together. While they might seem unrelated, they could be connected in more ways than you would expect.
Are the Common Cold and Diarrhea Connected?
If you’re experiencing a common cold and diarrhea together, there could be a connection. Certain groups of microorganisms (these are the bad guys often to blame for our illnesses) are known to cause both respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) issues, of which diarrhea is a common symptom. Often times for these more common and less severe illnesses, such as the common cold and upset stomach, doctors will not test to discover what microorganism has infiltrated your system as the treatment plan is almost always identical: at-home support, time, and rest.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications could also be the culprit of your diarrhea, especially cough suppressants or anything containing fructose. Additionally, some ingredients in OTC medications for the common cold can cause irritation in sensitive individuals, which can lead to diarrhea.
Diarrhea – The Body’s Defense Mechanism
The consensus is that the body attempts to protect itself from harmful microorganisms through various routes. For example, a fever boosts the body’s immune response and the eyes water to flush something that may cause harm. Diarrhea plays a similar role – during a bout of diarrhea, your body is trying to rid the gut of a potentially harmful intruder.
Research has found that upon introduction of harmful microorganisms to the gut, the lining of the intestinal wall becomes more permeable to let in extra water to flush the invaders out, which causes loose stools and diarrhea in most cases. As a result, taking medications to suppress diarrhea might be counterproductive to speedy and proper healing.
How to Support Diarrhea and the Common Cold
With any case of diarrhea, staying well hydrated with water is essential. Other helpful liquids to consider include unsweetened coconut water, broths, and a homemade or store-bought electrolyte replenishers. Additionally, as soon as you experience diarrhea symptoms, consider taking DiaResQ, a food for special dietary use that provides beneficial nutrients that support your body’s natural immune response and help to relieve diarrhea and restore normal intestinal function.
If your child has diarrhea and symptoms of a cold and is refusing to eat, know that this is often the body’s normal reaction, try easy to digest foods like applesauce or bananas and continue to encourage adequate hydration. Whether diarrhea is connected to the common cold or not, following these supportive measures will help you to feel better as quickly as possible.