Why does diarrhea cause drowsiness

Diarrhea with dehydration

diarrhea (Diarrhea) can remove over three liters of fluids and salts from the body per day. If left untreated, severe diarrhea is life-threatening and a hospital case.

The threat comes from the pure loss of fluids and minerals (mineral deficiency). The causes of the diarrhea, spoiled food or bacteria and viruses, on the other hand, are rarely a danger to the sick in Central Europe, since the toxins and bacteria do not pass into the blood in any significant amount. This may be different on long-distance trips (overview). In addition, the body almost always manages to get rid of the diarrhea causing the diarrhea, which is often accompanied by vomiting in the beginning, before they can multiply in the intestine and enter the body in larger quantities via the intestinal mucosa.

Infants, toddlers, old people and those who are already sick are particularly at risk. A baby can be in a life-threatening state through vomiting and diarrhea in less than 24 hours Dehydration (Dehydration, dehydration) advised.

Signs and complaints

  • Violent, watery, liquid stool more than three times a day; especially initially in combination with vomiting
  • Diffuse or cramping abdominal pain
  • Fatigue and a slight fever.

If the dehydration progresses:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Dry lips and dry mouth
  • Dark, concentrated urine, or lack of urine output
  • Sunken eyes
  • Drowsiness

In babies younger than 6–9 months: sunken fontanel.


  • Drink as much as possible. Drinks of your choice - except alcohol - are allowed. Strongly acidic and excessively sweet drinks should be avoided (e.g. pure fruit juices or the cola, which is repeatedly praised against diarrhea). The loss of salt caused by diarrhea can be compensated for with vegetable broth or a pinch of salt in the mineral water twice a day. So-called rehydration solutions that contain sugar and salt (e.g. Elotrans® powder or Oralpädon®) are ideal for babies and toddlers in particular. You can also prepare similar solutions yourself: Take 5 level tablespoons of table sugar plus 1.5 level teaspoons of table salt plus 1 glass (150 ml) of fruit juice. The fruit juice contains potassium (the best source of potassium is orange juice). Fill the whole thing up to about 300 ml with still mineral water or boiled tap water. The mixture should not taste saltier than tears and should not be stored for longer than a day.
  • If the intake of fluids is not possible, call a doctor immediately or take the person to the hospital straight away. In severe cases, infusion treatment is given in the hospital. Under no circumstances should you give diarrhea medication to small children or elderly people who are already dehydrated.
  • Physical conservation
  • From the second or third day onwards: grated apples, rusks, pretzel sticks, crispbread, gruel, carrot soup, yoghurt.
Medication to stop diarrhea, such as B. Imodium® are a “double-edged sword”: They should not be taken, if at all, without medical advice, because they can increase the length of time food toxins remain in the intestine and thus the duration of diarrhea.


Drs. Med. Katharina and Sönke Müller; Dr. med. Arne Schäffler | last changed on at 16:32