Diarrhea (diarrhea) – frequent emptying of the intestines with liquid watery stool (3 or more times a day). Diarrhea is not an independent disease, but a symptom of various diseases.
The causes of diarrhea depend on its shape and type. Acute diarrhea is caused by an intestinal infection of a viral, bacterial or parasitic nature. Chronic diarrhea accompanies the diseases of the digestive organs and lasts more than 4 weeks.
The path of transmission of acute diarrhea is fecal-oral. Common pathogens: E. coli, salmonella, dysenteric bacteria, amoeba, Giardia.
Chronic diarrhea manifests such gastrointestinal diseases: chronic pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, pseudomembranous colitis, intestinal swelling, celiac disease, non-infectious colitis. Also, diarrhea can be caused by taking medications, in particular, antibiotics.
Diarrhea can accompany acute respiratory infections caused by adenoviral and rotavirus infections.
Functional diarrhea in irritable bowel syndrome develops on the background of stress, depression. It is explained by a violation of intestinal motility.
The traveler’s diarrhea is caused by changes in diet, water quality, climate change, and stress. The appearance of this symptom is associated with infection of water and products by microorganisms.
Any diarrhea is a clinical manifestation of a violation of the absorption of water and electrolytes in the intestine.
Symptoms and severity of diarrhea depend on its form, type and amount of the pathogen causing its disease, as well as on the state of human immunity.
In case of acute diarrhea provoked by E. coli, liquid stools are observed up to 10 times a day. It is accompanied by moderate general intoxication, pain in the lower abdomen, and false urges to the act of defecation.
In acute diarrhea caused by salmonella and dysenteric bacteria, frequent watery stools with blood and pus can be observed up to 10-30 times a day. The patient is tormented by abdominal pains, pulling pains in the rectal area, worries about the urge to defecate. The temperature rises to 40 degrees. Observed tachycardia, dry skin.
Diarrhea caused by parasitic pathogens, develops gradually and is accompanied by abdominal pain. The stool may have an admixture of blood.
Travelers’ diarrhea manifests itself in the first two weeks after leaving a foreign region and lasts no more than a week. Accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cramping abdominal pain. Watery stools up to 10 times a day, body temperature is normal.
Manifestations of chronic diarrhea depend on the type of gastrointestinal disease.
Diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics, manifested by cramping abdominal pain, which cease after abundant watery stools. Symptoms disappear after drug withdrawal.
The diagnosis takes into account the clinical manifestations of diarrhea, the results of bacteriological examination of feces, stool analysis for occult blood, dysbacteriosis, complete blood count, biochemical blood count.
These studies can identify the causative agent of the disease, signs of acute or chronic inflammation, anemia, the degree of dehydration.
In chronic diarrhea, colonoscopy, rectomanoscopy is indicated to assess the presence of colon abnormalities. Evaluation of the intestinal motor function and the detection of organic changes in it are carried out with the help of an irrigoscopy.
To exclude diseases of the liver, pancreas, tumors in the abdominal cavity and retroperitoneal space, ultrasound of the abdominal organs is performed.
Types of disease
Diarrhea can be acute or chronic.
There are 4 types of diarrhea, depending on its mechanisms, course and causes:
- Exudative diarrhea
- Secretory diarrhea
- Osmolar diarrhea
- Hypokinetic diarrhea
A general practitioner, pediatrician, or family doctor should be contacted immediately in the following cases:
- Diarrhea more than 10 times a day
- Diarrhea in a child under 5 and an adult over 60
- Accompanied by fever
- There is blood in the stool, mucus
- The chair is abundant, bright
- In diarrhea, body temperature was below normal, blood pressure dropped, general condition worsened
Treatment depends on the type of diarrhea. General therapeutic approaches: diet, rehydration, use of antibacterial drugs, adjuvant therapy (enterosorbents and probiotics). As an antibacterial therapy, intestinal antiseptic Nifuroksazid Richter, which is active against a wide range of pathogens of intestinal infections, is not an antibiotic, it acts only in the intestine, without disturbing the microflora. In case of intestinal infection and bloody diarrhea, one should not take drugs that slow down intestinal motility. You can take drugs that normalize the intestinal microflora – hilak forte and others.
Features of treatment of secretory diarrhea include rehydration, cholestyramine, secretion inhibitors. In case of hyperosmolar diarrhea, absorption stimulants are prescribed; in exudative conditions, sulfasalazine, fat, and corticosteroids are prescribed. For the treatment of hypokinetic diarrhea use motility regulators, psychotherapy.
Treatment of diarrhea is accompanied by treatment of the underlying disease.
Diarrhea causes dehydration and against this background the development of seizures and coma. Possible complications of diarrhea are toxic shock, sepsis, peritonitis.
In case of delayed treatment, as well as in patients with immunodeficiency states, the outcome of diarrhea can be unfavorable.
Preventing diarrhea is hygiene and nutrition. It is necessary to eat regularly and properly. Wash hands, properly wash and handle food, including vegetables and fruits. It is not recommended to drink raw water and eat dishes from questionable products. Take medication carefully in order not to provoke dysbacteriosis. Lead a healthy lifestyle, avoid nerve overload.