Recently, I have been receiving lectures on the Gastrointestinal Tract otherwise known as the Digestive System. I feel its helpful to share the knowledge gained in the course of learning. Today, I will be discussing one of the most recurrent issues regarding this system.
The digestive system generally takes in, digest and absorb necessary nutrients in the food we eat. Normally, when digested food pass through the colon, large portion of fluid is absorbed and only a semisolid stool remains hut when there is increased movement of intestine it leads to frequent and profuse discharge of intestinal contents in loose a condition called Diarrhea.
In diarrhea, the fluid is not absorbed sufficiently resulting in watery bowel discharges. Acute diarrhea may be caused by temporary problems like infection while chronic diarrhea may be due to intestinal mucosa disorder. Diarrhea at times might be a symptom that occur in many diseases. It might be a red-flag for cholera.
MAJOR CAUSES OF DIARRHEA
1. Taking in contaminated food: Eating of drinking improper articles, artificial sweeteners found in food, spicy food, etc.
2. Food intolerance: poorly cooked food, spoiled food, or unriped fruits lead to indigestion, a common cause of acute diarrhea. For example, substances such as lactose, a sugar present in milk and milk products may not be digested easily leading to diarrhea.
3. Infections by: bacteria such as shigella; viruses like rotavirus; parasite like Guardia lamibia
4. Reaction to medicines: diarrhea is caused by medicines such as Antibodies and antihypertensive drugs; Antacids containing magnesium, laxatives.
5. Intestinal diseases: inflammation ofnintestine, irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal motility of the intestine cause chronic diarrhea.
SIGNS ACCOMPANYING DIARRHEA
Loss of excess water and electrolyte leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance maybe because of severe diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea results in hypokalemia and metabolic acidosis other signs of diarrhea are abdominal pain, nausea and bloating(a condition in which the subject feels the abdomen full and tight due to excess intestinal gas).
1. Drinking large quantities of warm water
2. Patient should remain in bed as walking or moving aabout will aggravate the diarrhea.
3. Avoidance of vegetables or flesh food will often cause a rrecurrence of diarrhea
4. Hygiene should be observed by the patient.