What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a disease in which there is a high incidence of loose and watery stools in a person. The expression is derived from the terms “Dia” and “rhein” in Greek, meaning “flow-through”. It is typically not a life-threatening illness, though since there are several causal causes, the duration of its manifestations usually varies.
It is mostly caused when there is a drop in fluid absorption by the intestines or a rise in fluid secretion or a fast flow of stool through the intestines. Diarrhea is split into two forms, namely—
- Acute Diarrhea
- Chronic Diarrhea
The length of severe diarrhea can be 2 to 3 days, but not longer than a week. It is not a life-threatening illness and, after taking necessary medications, may be treated.
It can last for 1 to 2 weeks for chronic diarrhea, but it may last much longer. Typically, this is due to other stomach disorders underlying it.
Types of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is of the following types :
- Secretory diarrhea-The intestines secrete waste blood.
- Osmotic diarrhea – Triggered when too much water is drawn into the bowels.
- Motility-related diarrhea-Where intestines are so involved and intestinal contents are transferred too rapidly such that water and electrolytes are not consumed adequately. This results in stools that are loose and watery.
- The collagenous colitis-The intestinal lining is weakened in this state, so it does not absorb water and electrolytes.
- Inflammatory diarrhea-where bacterial or fungal infections destroy the intestines.
Causes of Diarrhea
There are several pathological variables and other variables in diarrhea, such as:
- Intestinal disorder
- Diarrhea can be caused by several drugs. Speak to your healthcare provider if you think the medication is the source of your diarrhea. He or she can change the dosage or turn to a different prescription for you.
- Some erectile dysfunction medications like Sildenafil or Tadalafil also cause Diarrhea.
- Sometimes, an aversion to such foods, such as beef, soy, eggs, or fish, causes diarrhea. Diarrhea is also persistent in these cases.
- Consumption of alcohol
- Eating food that impacts the digestive system
- Digestive Function Surgery
- Therapy for radiation
- Poisoning food
- Skin cancers
Symptoms of diarrhea
Symptoms of this disease include:
- Loose stools
- The feeling of a bowel movement
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools (rare cases)
Treatments of Diarrhea
Generally, acute diarrhea can recede on its own within 2 to 3 days without further medication. But it is recommended that the doctor be consulted separately.
A few therapies that a doctor may recommend are below:
- If the signs are due to bacterial or parasitic infections, antibiotics may be beneficial.
- Water containing salt and electrolytes helps absorb the fluids lost.
- Medicines that are symptomatically treated.
- Consultation with a gastroenterologist is required if the condition continues for longer than a week.
Diarrhea may be either acute or short-term; or chronic, which means that it lasts longer. Acute diarrhea will usually clear up on its own after a few days.
Chronic, or extreme, diarrhea lasts for more than two to four weeks and can lead to serious health problems. For those with weakened immune systems, chronic diarrhea may be life-threatening illnesses, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Please contact your doctor if you have a serious problem.