Diseases Diseases

What Is Diarrhea And What Causes These Diseases

 Diarrhea is defined as loose, watery stools, frequent passing of loose stools three or more times per day.  Acute diarrhea is a most common problem which occurs and usually lasts for one or two days and it may go away on its own. If the condition prolong for more than two days, measures has to be taken as it can be due to serious health problem.  Usually the diarrhea causes dehydration that makes body to lack enough fluid and electrolytes such as chemicals in salts- sodium, potassium, and chloride.  The loose stools contain more fluid and electrolytes.  As the body fluid and electrolytes get lost, it must be replaced as soon as possible in the body.  This disease can affect people of all ages.

 Acute diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection. Chronic diarrhea is usually related to a functional disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome or an intestinal disease such as Crohn’s disease.

The bacterial infections are caused due to various types of bacteria that are consumed through the contaminated food or water which leads to the disease, diarrhea. The most common bacteria’s are Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Diarrhea can also be caused due to viral infection.  Most common viruses that cause diarrhea are rotavirus, norovirus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and viral hepatitis. In case of children, acute diarrhea is commonly caused due to the rotavirus.  Rotavirus diarrhea usually lasts about 3 to 7 days.

Even the parasites can cause acute diarrhea. Parasites usually enter the body through food or water and probably settle in the digestive system. The most common parasites that cause diarrhea include Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cryptosporidium.

Diarrhea may be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome which is considered as functional bowel disorders.  In this case people may suffer with diarrhea for a prolonged period resulting in dehydration. Physician help is required immediately so as to treat the disease condition and to treat for dehydration.

 The various diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease can often lead to diarrhea.  These diseases are associated with intestinal diseases.  Since diarrhea serve as symptoms for intestinal disease

Some people prone to have diarrhea if they consume certain types of sugar products in large quantities.  In some cases, people have difficulty in digesting certain ingredients, such as lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products. Even diarrhea occurs in case of people who are having food intolerances and sensitivities to certain food products

The various other causes for diarrhea are as follows: At times the medicines such as antibiotics, cancer drugs, and antacids containing magnesium can cause diarrhea. Some people trouble with diarrhea after their stomach surgery as the food movement is quicker in the digestive system.  People who visit foreign countries are also prone to have diarrhea which is considered as traveler’s diarrhea, which is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Tips and comments:

 Care should be taken in both case of acute and chronic diarrhea since it causes dehydration. Plenty of water to be consumed in order to avoid dehydration but fluids containing caffeinated content to be avoided.  Electrolyte solutions can be taken which are available at pharmacies.  Medications to be followed only when it is prescribed by the physician.

By Meenasen, published at 07/15/2011
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