Diarrhea: Causes, Treatment, and Symptoms

Diarrhea That You Need to Know About

Diarrhea indicates uncontrolled and watery bowel movements (also called stools). People with diarrhea usually have stool at least three times a day.

It is very common condition and usually is not so serious to be alarmed. In fact most of the people has it once or twice every year. But it usually last for two or three days if it is well treated (and this is called acute diarrhea).

But in case the diarrhea still persists for more than three days, is good to consult a doctor. It can cause dehydration and other mayor problems (irritable bowel syndrome or some kind of chronic diseases of the large intestine).

The cause of acute infectious diarrhea is a serious problem in developing countries. It is believed to cause, annually, killing at least 4 million children under the age of 5 years. These diseases are easy ground propagation conditions in areas with poor sanitation:

  • lack of drinking water,
  • crowding,
  • presence of waste not disposed of,
  • inadequate preparation of certain foods.

Causes of infectious diarrhea can accompany other symptoms. Depending on the type of organism responsible for the pathological condition. You may have

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • fever and
  • diarrhea can be watery or bloody.

3 Types of Diarrhea

1. Chronic diarrhea

Most often it is caused by irritable bowel syndrome. But Chronic diarrhea can be caused even by celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease . They can be linked with other causes including

  • eosinophilic gastroenteritis,
  • radiation,
  • pancreatic insufficiency,
  • lactase deficiency,
  • short bowel syndrome,
  • Whipple disease,
  • carcinoid syndrome,
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome,
  • tumors or endocrine disruption,
  • fecal impaction,
  • abuse of laxatives.

2. Secretory diarrhea

Secretory diarrhea take place when the body release water into the bowel even if it shouldn’t. Some example causes can be infections and drugs.

3. Osmotic Diarrhea

Osmotic diarrhea occurs when something in the bowel is pulling water from the body into the bowel.

An example cause of osmotic diarrhea can be the “dietetic candy” or “chewing gum”. Here the sugar substitute (sorbitol) is not properly absorbed by the body . So it draws water from the body into the bowel which cause diarrhea.

4. Exudative diarrhea

Exudative diarrhea occurs when there is the presence of blood and pus in the stool.

The common causes of Exudative diarrhea include:

  • infections (eg salmonellosis),
  • ulcerative colitis,
  • Crohn’s disease,
  • radiation enterocolitis and so on.

Diarrhea can also be the cause of dehydration. It can be really dangerous in children and older people.

And Diarrhea can cause serious health problems. So remember to always drink a lot of water.

Diarrhea Causes and Symptoms

There are many different reasons why an individual is frequently running back and forth to the bathroom with a nasty case of diarrhea.

For instance, if you have come in contact with an infectious organism or other agent, diarrhea may serve as a common symptom. Additional causes associated with the condition include:

1. Bacteria

The following bacteria are just some of the causes that may facilitate diarrhea: E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Clostridium, Vibrio cholera.

2. Viruses

Viral contact involving the likes of the rotavirus, Norwalk agent, enterovirus or hepatitis is known to create diarrhea.

3. Parasites

A parasite may also cause diarrhea, such as the creatures connected to giardiasis (intestinal infection) and amebiasis (caused by food or water contamination).

4. Improper Absorption

When a patient suffers from chronic or reoccurring diarrhea, they may suffer from a problem that hinders their body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

If the diarrhea is beyond the control of dehydration, sodium, potassium imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, so nurses need to know how to control diarrhea.

Diarrhea in cancer patients easily, usually due to hormones interfere with the tumor cells of normal intestinal absorption and motility.

So they can not absorb nutrients, water and electrolytes to transported to the blood circulation. The surface becomes smooth in the intestine because they want to absorb the rapid motility, intestinal damage is also often the curse of infection caused by the body.

Also, most of the antibiotics will cause diarrhea, other drugs, food or food products and the pressure can also cause diarrhea or even more serious.

Nurses need to assess the health effects of diarrhea.

For example, using the toilet and frequent bleeding hemorrhoids, colic, weakness and other conditions interfere with the quality of life, severe diarrhea and sometimes make cancer treatment interruption.

Diarrhea how to do?

  • Rehydration, but not to drink carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid caffeine drinks, due to increased diarrhea.
  • Avoid milk or dairy food, because lactose intolerance is often the reason for the renewal of diarrhea.
  • Use of heat in the abdomen will feel comfortable, rest stored energy, warm water bath to maintain skin integrity and to maintain anal area clean, wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet to reduce the spread of infection.
  • Do not eat too little food.
  • Note that the food will cause diarrhea, diarrhea, avoid or prevent recurrence of careful eating.
  • Eating high potassium foods such as bananas, mashed potatoes to supplement the loss due to diarrhea, the potassium ion.
  • Avoid food containing spices, fatty foods, do not eat raw vegetables, fruits to reduce intestinal irritation.
  • Use of cardamom in order to reduce peristalsis.

Call  a Doctor

Should inform you of the following conditions of nurses or doctor :

  • A fever
  • Severe colic
  • Increased frequency and volume of diarrhea
  • When feeling very weak
  • Blood in stool, Pus, mucous membrane when
  • When not eating or drinking

Essential to the doctor or nurse you know that you take any drugs that cause diarrhea.


Chronic diarrhea can cause death by dehydration of the individual and/or metabolic acidosis. The presence of diarrhea would increase the body’s water loss due to incomplete absorption of water, excessive liquid booster .

Dehydration is also connected to the electrolyte disturbances which is cause hypo-tension, metabolic acidosis, renal calculi, oliguria, lethargy and tachycardia with pulse small and frequent.

Diarrhea can become dangerous for the phenomena of dehydration associated with it, especially in the elderly, children and debilitated subjects.

How To treat Diarrhea And Which Medicine To Use

If you suffer from Diarrhea, you need a physiological regulator of intestinal motility. There are several on the market, many of which have effective immediately

1. Loperamide

Loperamide, commercially available as hydrochloride. It is a drug with strong anti-Diarrheal activities, especially in the case of an anti propulsive.

Mechanism of action

Loperamide is an opioid receptor agonist with a high affinity for the subclass, particularly those of the myenteric plexus. It has no activity on the central nervous system (CNS).

It is expelled from a system of selection molecular protein (P-glycoprotein, P-gp), which prevents certain molecules that even crossing the blood-brain barrier to come into contact with central neurons.

Concomitant use of drugs that inhibit P-glycoprotein has led to the appearance of side effects typical opioid intoxication such as respiratory depression.


The binding of loperamide to receptors myenteric muscle causes decreased activity in this district. This slows the intestinal transit allowing increased water absorption by decreasing the frequency of discharge and increased stool consistency.

The Loperamide also decreases the movements of the colon eliminating the gastrocolic reflex.

2. Bismuth subsalicylate

The bismuth subsalicylate, whose chemical formula corresponding C7H5BiO4. It is a drug derived from bismuth used to treat nausea, gastritis, indigestion, stomach pain, Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal temporary inconvenience.

It is the active ingredient in popular medications such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate modern.

As the salt of salicylic acid, the bismuth subsalicylate is proving an excellent anti-inflammatory and antacid.

Its ingestion may cause blackening of the tongue due to the colour of this product when combined with sulphur in saliva. The fade-and independent and safe, and takes place within a few days.

Children should not be medicated with bismuth subsalicylate when infected with flu or varicella, because the use of this product in individuals of a certain age can make you break out of Reye’s syndrome.

In the newborn, Diarrhea and constipation are two sides of the same coin: the difficulty in adapting his intestine to food.

The intestine of a child so small and very sensitive and reacts to stimulant with Diarrhea many and varied.

  • the excessive amount of food,
  • a food introduced too quickly a food intolerance,
  • an intestinal infection.

The aim is to rehydrate and nourish the baby not to stop the Diarrhea
Simple rules:

  1.  After two days. that the baby does not poop, boosted by the tip of the thermometer dipped in oil and introduced to two cm. anus.
  2.  If the situation tends to persistent give liquids sweetened with maltodextrin (Nidex) or add them to the formula. If results are not obtained, replace the maltodextrins with lactulose (Portolac bags Laevolac infants or syrup)
  3.  When possible, speak on the diet by introducing foods that promote the evacuation (gluten, pear and plum, green leafy vegetables) and remove those who “string” (carrots, potatoes, apple, banana, rice, parmesan cheese).
  4. In case of frequent evacuations of loose stools, smelly and with abnormal colour, stop feeding for a day, replacing it with normal rehydration fluids by adding one-twowo teaspoons of cream of rice.
  5.  If you have vomiting and / or fever alert the pediatrician!

How to Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Travelers’ diarrhea is a really common condition that each year hits between 20%-50% of international travelers (about 10 million persons!).
It can occur at any time while traveling and even after returning home. Of course the traveler’s destinations have an important role in developing countries as Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, are considered high-risk destinations.

The main source of infection is the consumption of food or water that has been fecally contaminated (with viruses, bacteria or parasites).

However, prevent traveler’s diarrhea is possible following these smart tips:

  • Don’t beverages tap water during travels.
  • Do not drink unpasteurized milk or dairy products.
  • Do not use ice made from tap water.
  • Never consume any types of raw fruits and vegetables, including lettuce and fruit salads, unless they can be peeled and you peel them yourself.
  • Do not eat non-veg foods that are not hot when served.
  • Do not eat food from street vendors.

Most of the time, the traveler’s diarrhea is a condition that doesn’t need any particular treatment. But if stools occur more than three times in 8 hours, it is good to see a doctor as he could give you an antibiotic treatment.

Also, remember to drink a lot of bottled water to fight dehydration.

Natural Home Remedies for Diarrhea

To ease the symptoms of chronic, reoccurring or acute diarrhea, you may want to consider the following natural cures, which are sometimes already stored within your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator:

6 Effective Diarrhea Remedies

1.) Black Tea

A reduction in an inflamed gut may take place when drinking strong, cooled cups of a black Indian tea (without the use of milk or sugar).

2.) Agrimony

The aerial parts and leaves of this herb act as an astringent and healing approach for an inflamed intestinal tract.

Agrimony makes an effective infusion or tincture that is also recommended for soothing the symptoms that plague children.

3.) Buttermilk

Some believe that buttermilk is one of the most effective home remedies associated with treating diarrhea.

Buttermilk is the leftover milk that appears after the fat has been eliminated from the curd during the churning process. The acid within the buttermilk is known to combat germs and bacteria.

This type of natural cure is sold as is at the local grocery store. Some become also mix rice with buttermilk as a natural treatment.

4.) Carrot Soup

Diarrhea is also treated through carrot soup, which fights dehydration, and replenishes lost

  • sodium,
  • potassium,
  • phosphorus,
  • calcium,
  • sulphur,
  • and magnesium.

Cooking kilograms of carrots in 150 ml of water until the carrots are soft is one way to make an effective soup.

The carrot pulp should be strained, and then boiled until a liter of mixture remains. of a tablespoon of salt should be added. The final soup can be taken every hour.

5.) Ginger

Dry or fresh ginger has been used for many years to aid in the digestion process, as well as to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract.

6.) Mint

When looking for a natural diarrhea cure, one teaspoon of fresh mint juice mixed with a teaspoon each of honey and lime juice can be taken three times per day.

Why Diarrhea is a Dangerous Condition?

Diarrhea is a term that derives from the ancient Greek “διὰρροια” which means “flowing through”.
Its the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day.

Nowadays it is still a common cause of death, especially in developing countries, and is also the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide.

The main dangerous thing that happens when you have diarrhea is the loss of fluids that can cause you dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

In 2009, Diarrhea caused 1.1 million deaths in people aged 5 and over and 1.5 million deaths in children under the age of 5.

Oral rehydration salts and zinc tablets are the most useful of choice and saved 50 million children in the past 25 years