What is Diarrhea?

When thinking about diarrhoea, one’s thoughts don’t exactly flow with vividness and verve. Negative connotations are attached to diarrhoea and rightly so as it is something many will experience in life regardless of their physical and medical state.

What is diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea in essence is simply the passing of a liquid or watery substance that passes out of your body on more than two or three occasions each day. If diarrhoea lasts beyond a day, the type may be different and treatment for it may need to be altered. It is often exacerbated by people eating the wrong foods, which the bowels in your body should not be exposed too. Diarrhoea can also act as a gateway of release as it disposes of toxins in the body. Dangers attached to this are you could experience a loss of weight, most likely a few kilos, but can still have a minute affect on your health, so it is vital you take precautions by keeping your body supplemented with fluids.

Acute diarrhoea

Is the medical term given to the type of diarrhoea that can last between three and five days. It is fairly common and as stated before is likely to occur at some stage in your life. It can be as a result of an infection or as a side affect of some kind of medication that you may have been prescribed. It is also scary to know that acute diarrhoea is particularly lethal in developing countries around the world. it has been stated by the World Health Organisation that three and a half million people die each year from diarrhoea. Even more startling is the fact that eight per cent of those who die are actually children under the age of five. Reason that they are far more likely to be in danger then adults is because they do not have fully eveloped immune systems by that age.

Chronic diarrhoea

This is the term used to describe a more severe case of diarrhoea. It can often last more then a few days, sometimes weeks interrupting a person’s life leaving them at the mercy of their toilets for weeks.

Different types of diarrhoea

There are a variety of types of diarrhoea that one can obtain. Osmotic diarrhoea is one of the most common types of diarrhoea and is a direct result of your digestive system being unable to take in key parts of food, namely sugars, sugar alcohol and some minerals. Water that can’t absorb these key components of food into the intestines are taken away and then literally passed out of your system, hence the term “watery stool”. Osmotic diarrhoea clears up after a relatively short period of time when these key elements are not inserted into your body. A common myth about helping clear up diarrhoea is drinking loads of Lucozade or Ribena because they contain bursts of energy, which will help revitalise your body. But the unfortunate truth is both contain strong elements of glucose fructose (Sugars) and will only prolong the type of diarrhoea that you have, so it is best avoided for the sake of sparing yourself abdominal pain and a watery nightmare in the toilet.

Secretory diarrhoea is a type that is fairly dissimilar to that of osmotic. First of all secretion is the releasing of chemicals within the body. When applied within the context of diarrhoea, it should be quick for you to imagine what it involves. The process itself is different to that of osmotic diarrhoea. Whereas in the case of secretory, diarrhoea, it is water and salts released by the intestines, which then get taken into the stools. This only happens due to various infections that you may come into contact with. Toxins from these infections then counteract with water and salts by mingling with your intestines and before you know it your releasing volumes of watery muck from your rear end.

Another variant of diarrhoea that some may not be aware of is exudative. When the lining of the colon becomes inflamed via the release of mucus, sometimes blood and possibly other fluids, it can cause one’s gut’s to experience a degree of discomfort. Unlike other diarrhoeas however, this is often caused by medical conditions including tuberculosis, irrigational bowel disease, often known by its acronym (IBD), as well as some cancers.

There is of course paradoxical diarrhoea which is very unusual in comparison to other forms of diarrhoea because it is simply a false sign of diarrhoea. Where you may feel that due to abdominal pains and the occasional release of a liquid substance, it’s still not actually diarrhoea. You are actually experiencing a fecal impaction and this is by far distinguishable because of the fact that you experience constipation. The feeling of wind so to speak and the occasional release of “farts” from your bottom will alert you to this. It is stated that it is common amongst children and the elderly due to their limited mental capacity. Whilst experiencing the feeling of diarrhoea, it’s paradoxical because there is no diarrhoea and that is the clearest indicator of its symptoms.

One of the more difficult medical terms to get your head around is pseudo-diarrhoea. In laymen terms this is the type of diarrhoea that is caused by you, for instance via the use of laxatives. You must not discount the case of bulimia or any other significant eating disorder, as they play a massive part in such cases of diarrhoea; People trying to reduce their weight is another common reason behind such causes of pseudo-diarrhoea. There’s also the scenario in which people lie about having diarrhoea in order to seek attention, adding a psychological perspective of sorts. But the common theme throughout the pseudo-diarrhoea variant is that it is completely self-induced and not caused by any medical or biological causes. If people do suffer from this, it’s clearly a mental issue. The best way to treat cases such as this is to seek counselling as bulimia is a serious issue.

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