What is Diarrhea? What Is Good For Chronic Diarrhea?

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What is diarrhea? Watery stools, increased stool volume or increased stool frequency are considered diarrhea.

People with diarrhea pass more than 250 grams of stool per day, of which at least 70 percent is in liquid form. In very severe diarrhea cases, up to 13-14 liters of fluid can be lost per day. The World Health Organization defines diarrhea as having more than three watery stools in a day. Diarrhea is definitely not a disease, but a symptom of polyfactorial origin.

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Diarrhea is the second largest cause of death among under-five years of age worldwide (after pneumonia), with 1.5 million infants dying annually from it. It is dangerous enough to cause death, especially in children under the age of two.

What Are The Symptoms Of Diarrhea?

  • liquid defecation,
  • Urgent defecation urge and inability to hold stool,
  • excessive defecation,
  • thirst,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • fever rise,
  • weakness,
  • abdominal pain and gas are common symptoms of diarrhea.

We can rank these symptoms according to the severity of diarrhea. Thirst occurs when a small amount of fluid is lost. An average of 4% of body weight is lost. When moderate fluid loss occurs, dry mouth, decreased urine output, and restless mood are observed. Fluid loss is 7-8% of body weight. When excess fluid is lost, the symptoms are severe and there is fluid loss of up to 10% of body weight.


Causes of diarrhea

Coronaviruses cause about 40% of diarrhea that causes hospitalization in children younger than 5 years old.

Diarrhea has many causes. It can also be caused by an excessive intake of vitamin C or magnesium. Infectious diseases are the most important causes for human health. The medical definition of diarrhea includes the production of more than 200 grams of stool per day, as some features of diarrhea can occur in other conditions.

Diarrhea occurs because the large intestine does not absorb enough fluid. Meals are digested in liquid form before reaching the large intestine. The large intestine absorbs water, making the remaining material semi-solid. If the large intestine is damaged or inflamed, water absorption is inhibited and watery stools occur.

The most common cause of diarrhea is viral infection or bacterial toxins. If a healthy person has diarrhea due to a viral infection, they will recover in a few days, but in a week at most. However, in sick or malnourished people, diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Among the causes of diarrhea are many serious diseases; may indicate a chronic condition such as dysentery, cholera, botulism, or Crohn’s disease. Although diarrhea is not usually present in patients with appendicitis, it is a common manifestation of appendicitis. Dietary diarrhea may be the cause of lactose intolerance.

In Which Situations and Who Is Diarrhea Dangerous?

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Diarrhea in infants; (Babies whose feeding is stopped after diarrhea occurs, who vomit at least twice, babies who have 6-7 watery stools and those younger than 1 year old lose a lot of fluid. These babies are more at risk)
Moderate or severe diarrhea in young children;
diarrhea mixed with blood;
diarrhea lasting more than two weeks;
Diarrhea associated with general illness such as non-cramping abdominal pain, weight loss;
People who travel to underdeveloped countries have diarrhea because they are more likely to have unfamiliar infections such as parasites.
Those who prepare food because they are more likely to infect others.
Diarrhea in hospital, child care, geriatric or rehabilitation centers.

Diarrhea Treatment (What Is Good for Diarrhea?)

The body’s water ratio should be maintained with properly balanced electrolytes. This is the most appropriate treatment for all types of diarrhea, even dysentery. Drinking large amounts of water without electrolyte balancing can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, which in rare cases is fatal (water poisoning).

  1. It should be eaten regularly, in the form of frequent and small meals. It should not be eaten or drunk too quickly.
  2. Sometimes, especially in children, dehydration can be life-threatening and intravenous fluids may be required.
  3. Oral rehydration therapy: It takes the form of taking a salt or sugar solution by mouth.
  4. Opioids: Opioids and their derivatives should not be taken for infectious diarrhea because they increase the duration of the disease and increase the risk of becoming carriers. Opioids are the most effective diarrhea medications. Its main mechanism of action is to inhibit peristalsis. Loperamide (also known as Imodium) is the most commonly taken diarrhea medicine. Others (in order of increasing potency): Lomotil (diphenoxylate veatropine); Motofen (difenoxin with atropine); codeine; paregoric (camphorated tincture of opium), opium juice (laudanum); and morphine. The strongest opioids are reserved for chronic diarrhea (e.g. from AIDS complications).
  5. Antibiotics: If a bacteria is suspected to be the cause of the diarrhea and the person is medically ill, antibiotics may be needed. Parasitic diarrhea (for example, giardiasis) also requires appropriate antibiotics. Antibiotics are not routinely used because diarrhea is rarely caused by bacteria, and their use can disrupt the intestinal flora and make diarrhea worse. Diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis caused by Clostridium difficile are often caused by antibiotic use.
  6. Dietary regulation: celiac patients should avoid wheat products. Patients with spastic colon syndrome can change their diet to reduce the overreaction to the gastrocolic reflex, which is the cause of diarrhea. Eating soluble fiber foods, using soy and rice products instead of dairy products, being careful while eating fruits and vegetables with high fiber (insoluble) fiber content, eating regular and small meals help to reduce the symptoms of spastic colon syndrome. Foods to avoid or minimize are red meat, fatty or fried foods, dairy products (although not lactose intolerant), chocolate, coffee (regular or decaffeinated), alcohol, sodas (especially those containing sorbitol), and artificial sweeteners. Studies have shown that patients with spastic colon syndrome are hypersensitive to fats, insoluble fibers and fructose.
  7. Hygiene and isolation prevent the spread of the disease.
  8. Zinc supplementation shortens the duration of diarrhea by 25% and reduces the amount by 30%.

Foods That Are Good For Diarrhea

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During diarrhea, you should avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, dairy products, fatty foods and foods containing high fiber. Low-fiber rice, banana, applesauce, potato soup, ginger, honey, garlic, carrot, carob, bran, lemon juice and bread come first among the foods that are good for diarrhea.

  • Rice: It is recommended to consume low-fiber, binding foods during diarrhea to harden the stool and bring it back to normal. White rice falls into this category with its low fiber content and can be used to suppress diarrhea.
  • Banana: Banana, which is a light and easy to digest fruit, is among the foods that are good for diarrhea. Potassium lost during diarrhea is abundant in bananas.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, which is a natural antiseptic, helps to clean the intestines and the entire digestive tract. In addition, the “pectin” substance in apple cider vinegar can harden the stool and relieve diarrhea.

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