What is the relationship between diarrhea and Covid-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory ailment caused by a new coronavirus strain found in December of this year. Coronavirus is a virus family that causes several diseases in humans, including the common cold, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (SARS).
The majority of patients infected with COVID-19 have relatively modest symptoms if any at all. Adults over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing medical issues are at the most significant risk of serious complications.
Dr. Samrat Jankar, a gastroenterology specialist from Pune, will discuss the link between diarrhea and Covid-19 in this article and how to protect oneself.
Fever, fatigue, and a dry cough are the most prevalent COVID-19 symptoms. According to studies, 83 to 99 percent of people will get a fever, 59 to 82 percent will get a cough, and 44 to 70 percent will get tired.
COVID-19 is also linked to the following flu-like symptoms:
- Breathing problems
- a scratchy throat
- a loss of taste or odor
- Muscle ache
According to Pune’s best gastroenterologist, even in the absence of other flu-like symptoms, some patients may develop gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, lack of appetite, or vomiting.
Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19
COVID-19 causes gastrointestinal symptoms in certain patients, which can occur alone or in combination with respiratory symptoms.
Researchers have discovered that a third of the patients they evaluated with a mild form of COVID-19 had stomach issues.
It is also learned that between 3 and 79 percent of patients with COVID-19 have gastrointestinal problems, according to a recent study.
Diarrhea is a common symptom of COVID-19 infection. One study looked at 206 people who had a mild case of COVID-19. They discovered that 48 patients exclusively experienced stomach symptoms, whereas another 69 had digestive and respiratory problems.
Diarrhea was the first symptom for 19.4% of the 117 patients who had gastrointestinal distress.
Dr. Samrat Jankar, a gastroenterologist in Pune with a wealth of experience, believes that vomiting is more common in children with COVID-19 than in adults. This is because 3.6 to 15.9% of adults had vomiting compared to 6.5 to 66.7 percent of children.
Many persons who develop COVID-19 have a loss of appetite, which is frequently accompanied by other gastrointestinal problems.
According to the same study, a decrease in appetite affects between 39.9% and 50.2 percent of people.
Is it possible to have diarrhea if you don’t have a fever?
Some patients may have diarrhea but no other flu-like symptoms, such as a temperature. COVID-19 might cause diarrhea as a first symptom.
Flu symptoms can appear after diarrhea in some circumstances. Some people may have gastrointestinal problems and not develop any of the other symptoms.
What’s the connection between COVID-19 and GI symptoms?
COVID-19 is spread by a virus that enters the body through cell surface receptors for an enzyme called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. (ACE2). The gastrointestinal system has 100 times more receptors for this enzyme than the respiratory tract.
What if you’re already suffering from stomach issues?
Some gastrointestinal illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), put people at a higher risk of contracting viral infections.
However, no studies have demonstrated that people with IBD are more likely than people without IBD to develop COVID-19.
COVID-19 is generating a lot of new information. It’s likely that when more data is gathered, researchers will discover that having IBD increases your risk of acquiring COVID-19.
People with IBD, according to a Pune-based gastroenterologist, should take special steps to avoid contracting the virus. These are some of them:
- handwashing frequently
- when coughing or sneezing, cover your face
- staying away from persons who have flu-like symptoms
- if at all possible, staying at home
If you have IBD and your COVID-19 test is positive, talk to your doctor about whether or not you should stop taking particular drugs.
What to do if you’re having stomach problems?
Other than COVID-19, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of appetite, or nausea can occur. Any of these symptoms do not necessarily indicate that you have COVID-19, but they could be early warning indications.
Staying hydrated, avoiding items that upset your stomach, and getting as much rest as possible are all ways to treat COVID-19’s digestive symptoms at home.
When should you see a doctor?
If your symptoms are minor, stay at home and limit your social interactions. More than 80% of COVID-19 patients will experience minor symptoms.
Avoiding going to the hospital is a bright idea. Even if your symptoms are modest, you can spread the sickness to others, especially healthcare staff. Many clinics offer phone or video sessions to limit the spread of the illness if you need to speak with a doctor.
Seek medical help right away if your symptoms become more serious. The following are emergency signs, according to a gastrointestinal expert from Pune:
- difficulty breathing
- chest discomfort or pressure
- inability to wake up or confusion
- lips or face that is blue
COVID-19 can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. These symptoms can appear on their own or in combination with other flu-like symptoms like fever and coughing.
If you suspect you have COVID-19, isolate yourself as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus to others. Seek medical help right away if you develop severe symptoms like shortness of breath.