Home >> HealthCenter >> Condition

Please enter your email:

Diarrhea

Diarrhea

Diarrhea (in American English) or diarrhoea (in British English) is a condition in which the sufferer has frequent watery, loose bowel movements. Acute infectious diarrhea is a common cause of death in developing countries (particularly among infants), accounting for 5 to 8 million deaths annually[1]. Much of the incidence of these deaths is due to the lack of adequate safe water and lack of sewage treatment capacity; the separation of drinking water from contaminated sewage is also a major issue.

Causes

This condition can occur as a symptom of infection, allergy, food intolerance, foodborne illness and/or extreme excesses of Vitamin C and/or magnesium and may be accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Temporary diarrhea can also result from the ingestion of laxative medications or large quantities of certain foods like prunes with laxative properties. There are other conditions which involve some but not all of the symptoms of diarrhea, and so the formal medical definition of diarrhea involves defecation of more than 200 grams per day (though formal weighing of stools to determine a diagnosis is rarely actually carried out).

Diarrhea occurs when insufficient fluid is absorbed by the colon. As part of the digestion process, or due to fluid intake, food is mixed with large amounts of water. Thus, digested food is essentially liquid prior to reaching the colon. The colon absorbs water, leaving the remaining material as a semisolid stool. If the colon is damaged or inflamed, however, absorption is inhibited, and watery stools result.

Diarrhea is most commonly caused by viral infections or bacterial toxins. In sanitary living conditions and with ample food and water available, an otherwise healthy patient typically recovers from the common viral infections in a few days and at most a week. However, for ill or malnourished individuals diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and can become life-threatening without treatment.

Diarrhea can also be a symptom of more serious diseases, such as dysentery, Montezuma's Revenge, cholera, or botulism, and can also be indicative of a chronic syndrome such as Crohn's disease. Though appendicitis patients do not generally have diarrhea, it is a common symptom of a ruptured appendix. It is also an effect of severe radiation sickness.

Diarrhea can also be caused by dairy intake in those who are lactose intolerant.

1234
Next References

Home   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Privacy   |   Terms Of Use   |   Advertise With Us   |   Sitemap
Copyright © 2019 Responsive Health
This site is intended to provide you with health information from publicly available sources, supporting vendors and partnered sources. While We make every effort to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, We make absolutely no assumption, inference, or declaration stating the information provided should be use as a source influencing any decisions on medical, diagnosis or treatment, or advice about what providers to use. The Site is an informational resource used for educational purposes only and cannot be used as a source used to make changes to medical treatment or lifestyle decisions without first consulting with your physician.