Diarrhea is a common illness caused worldwide. It is caused due to various reasons; infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites of intestinal origin. The predominant clinical factor with respect to diarrhea is the onset of vomiting and fever causing extreme dehydration which is fatal and sometimes life threatening.
Bacterial diarrhea: In this case, bacteria such as Salmonella and Shigella and enterogenic E.coli cause damage to the intestinal wall causing more bowel movements and enteric fever. The diagnosis of bacterial diarrhea is done by stool culture and by serological analysis in case of Salmonella induced fever.
Viral Diarrhea: Viral diarrhea is most commonly noticed in children and it is usually self limiting after a period of four to five days. Symptoms include weakness, fever, irritability and sometimes vomiting.
Parasites: Intestinal parasites especially protozoan such as Giardia, Entamoeba and cryptosporidium cause diarrhea. Some are zoonotic on origin and mostly caused by feco-oral route.
Drug Induced: Diarrhea can also be caused because of the administration of certain type drugs such as antibiotics, anticancer and magnesium containing antacids.
Food allergies: Food induced diarrhea is common with those who eat at various places often. Some people are lactose intolerant and consumption of any diary product may induce diarrhea.
Treatment of Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be fatal if untreated. The most common form of treatment is through fluid replacement, rest and consumption of probiotics during the administration of antibiotics. Anti-parasitic drugs and antibiotics are most often prescribed. The WHO recommends ORS solutions in case children and adults as the preliminary step towards treatment and prevention of dehydration.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is not contagious, inherited or cancerous. Neither does it mean that there is a problem with the structure of the intestine. If the muscle movement in the intestine is not normal or if there is a lower tolerance for stretching and movement of the intestine, the muscle contractions may become too hard. This affects the elimination of waste out of the body. At this stage, the individual suffers cramps in the abdomen area, abdomen bloat and constipation or may develop diarrhea.
Symptoms of IBS
Primary symptoms: Abdominal pain, abdominal swelling or bloating, bowel irregularities, constipation or diarrhea or alternative bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Almost all irritable bowel syndrome sufferers who seek medical help have these primary symptoms.
Secondary symptoms: Feeling full or loss of appetite, feeling of nausea, heartburn and indigestion. There are instances where IBS sufferers have bladder problems.
Mental symptoms: Anxiety, depression, emotional distress, irritability and tiredness.
Triggers for Irritable bowel syndrome
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 23, 2024