diarrhea, medically also the Diarrhea or Diarrhea, is the more often than three bowel movements a day, whereby the stool is unformed and a weight of 250 g per day is exceeded in adults.
Diarrhea is also known as diarrhea in medical terminology and is a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. We always speak of diarrhea when more than three bowel movements are necessary per day.
Diarrhea is usually an uncontrollable urge to defecate, which is often the only or main problem for the person affected. Depending on the cause, the stool may contain mucus, pus, or blood.
Frequent bowel evacuation with functional bowel complaints with normal stool weight or faecal incontinence are therefore not to be described as diarrhea in the medical sense. Diarrhea lasting more than two weeks is called "chronic".
Diarrhea is also known as diarrhea in medical terminology and is a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. We always speak of diarrhea when more than three bowel movements are necessary per day. The stool is often not solid, but rather liquid, the water content is more than 75 percent. The amount of stool is also significantly increased; So one also speaks of diarrhea if this amount is more than 250 grams per day.
Furthermore, a distinction is made between acute diarrhea, which appears suddenly, and chronic diarrhea, which recurs at regular intervals. This disease is often accompanied by numerous other symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
A distinction is also made between diarrhea in the small intestine and colon. With diarrhea in the small intestine, the stool is often watery, voluminous, and contains neither blood nor mucus. Food components may be excreted undigested. Colon diarrhea often involves relatively small amounts of stool, often containing blood and mucus.
The causes of diarrhea are diverse. Often the psyche plays a crucial role. Many people suffer from diarrhea before a stressful situation such as an exam. However, this disease is usually triggered by another infectious disease.
Bacteria, salmonella and viruses are the most common pathogens here. Diarrhea is also common in the event of food poisoning or intolerance to certain foods. In addition, an overactive thyroid can be the reason for this uncomfortable disease. With some drugs, such as antibiotics, diarrhea also occurs as a side effect.
The so-called irritable bowel syndrome often leads to diarrhea. In the worst case, however, malignant tumors in the intestine are the cause of this disease. In most cases, however, the cause of the diarrhea is harmless and it will go away on its own within a few days.
Acute diarrheal diseases are usually caused by infections - responsible for more than 90% of all acute diarrhea - or by food poisoning with bacterial toxins. Every year almost a third of the population gets diarrhea without seeking medical help.
The causes of chronic diarrhea can range from harmless to dangerous: stress, food intolerance, malnutrition, excessive use of laxatives, dysfunction of the pancreas, liver or gall bladder, chronic intestinal infections, parasitoses, non-infection-related inflammations such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, etc.
In acute diarrhea, there is a more or less pronounced loss of fluid and nutrients. This loss of fluid must be compensated for in order to prevent the organism from drying out. The severe loss of fluids can lead to some complications and is the reason for the danger that comes with diarrhea. Almost all of the complications and hazards directly caused by the symptom of diarrhea can be traced back to fluid loss.
The body can become dehydrated. In extreme cases, this can lead to kidney failure and thus death. Other symptoms such as general weakness, circulatory problems, dizziness, and the breakdown of the circulatory system are also directly attributable to the massive loss of fluids. In children who suffer from diarrhea, apathy can also develop relatively quickly. The complications mentioned are also due to the loss of electrolytes. For this reason, the treatment of acute diarrhea focuses on replacing the lost fluid and the lost electrolytes. Such a therapy can avoid or contain the severe complications mentioned.
Especially in the case of severe diarrhea that lasts longer than three days, a doctor should be consulted due to the possible complications mentioned. This initiates an appropriate therapy through which the mentioned possible complications can be avoided.
Diarrheal diseases are very unpleasant, but usually not life-threatening. If diarrhea lasts for two or three days, it can seriously weaken the body. Therefore, the elderly and infants with diarrhea should be closely monitored. If after three days there is no improvement, it is necessary to consult the doctor.
The biggest problem with diarrhea is the loss of water and minerals (dehydration), which can be dangerous depending on your physical condition. A viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract is often associated with stomach cramps. Sick people should drink soothing teas so that the gastrointestinal mucous membranes can regenerate better. If the abdominal pain does not improve after a bowel movement, a detailed examination should be carried out. If a patient with diarrhea is already being treated for a cancer diagnosis, the doctor should always be consulted.
If he has bloody stool or vomits frequently, it is particularly important to see an internist. The same applies to pus in the stool, if you are very worried as a result of diarrhea or sudden, severe abdominal pain. A tense abdominal wall that feels hard is also a serious symptom. If severe diarrhea occurs after a recent long-haul trip, the traveler has probably been infected with germs. Here, too, a detailed examination must be carried out. If there is a suspicion of highly contagious noroviruses or salmonella, this must be reported to the health department.
If the diarrhea lasts for a long time, you should consult a doctor as a precaution so that he can find out the causes and rule out worse diseases. A doctor should always be consulted if there is blood in the stool. The doctor will first ask the patient about his lifestyle and, above all, his eating habits and then palpate his stomach.
An examination of the rectum with a finger is also useful in many cases; this is also called a rectal examination. Usually, a stool sample is also given in the laboratory, which usually quickly detects possible viruses or bacteria. A colonoscopy or an X-ray examination of the intestine can be useful if the aforementioned examinations have not yielded clear results.
A test for a food intolerance can also help identify the cause. The first measure for diarrhea will be to compensate for the loss of fluids and minerals. This can be possible just by drinking a lot, but an infusion is often also given, which supplies the body with electrolytes. There are some medications for diarrhea, but they are not always useful.
However, anticonvulsants should be taken against the common side effects of abdominal cramps. Infants, children and the elderly should consult a doctor immediately if they have severe diarrhea. It is always important to compensate for the loss of fluids and salts, as both are only absorbed to a lesser extent through the intestine. Sweating from fever or vomiting exacerbates this problem.
In the case of diarrhea lasting several days, the cause must be clarified by consulting a doctor. Some nutritionists recommend mixing 1 liter of boiled water with half a teaspoon of table salt and five teaspoons of grape sugar, although some fruit juice can be added for reasons of taste.
If you have diarrhea, the probability is relatively high that the problem will resolve itself and the body will return to a healthy state on its own. Most diseases do not need to be treated with medication or a doctor in this case. Here the body needs rest and relaxation in order to fight the infection that causes the diarrhea and to remove it from the body.
If diarrhea is left untreated, the problem doesn't necessarily have to get worse. However, if it does not improve without further ado, medication against infections in the gastrointestinal tract should be taken in order to get the diarrhea under control.
In severe cases, the diarrhea may not simply go away. Then a doctor has to be seen and the disease is treated with medication. Here the patient usually has a very good chance of a complete healing of the stomach. In these cases, a light diet is suitable so that the stomach is not stressed too much. The patient should drink a lot.
To prevent diarrhea, one should pay attention to one's diet. Be careful with raw eggs, especially in summer, as these can contain salmonella. Unwashed fruits and vegetables can promote this disease, as can a lot of yeast.
Caution is advised when traveling to foreign countries, as diarrhea is particularly common here. It is very important to have the necessary vaccinations against cholera and typhus before such a trip. Since some types of diarrhea are contagious, it is also important to maintain adequate hygiene.
↳ More information: Home remedies for diarrhea
If you have diarrhea, you only need to see a doctor in a few cases. Most of the time, the symptom can be treated with home remedies and often goes away on its own. Since diarrhea is a disease or an infection in the stomach and intestines, the stomach should definitely be spared. This means that heavy, fatty and sweet foods should not be consumed. With light food, juices and water, the stomach is calmed and can regenerate and fight the infection.
Since a lot of water is excreted with diarrhea, the affected person has to drink a lot. Mineral water is best suited here, as it can replenish the mineral balance that is lost with diarrhea. Various teas help against diarrhea, and a hot water bottle is often used to remove possible pain from the abdomen and abdomen. In most cases the body can heal itself here.
However, if the diarrhea lasts for a long time or is very painful, the doctor should be consulted. In the pharmacy there are various drugs that can be taken for diarrhea. A popular and simple means is activated charcoal, which removes infections and bacteria from the stomach and intestines.