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effect of diarrhoea


Diarrhoea is a medical condition in which someone passes liquid faeces frequently, It occurs when someone has frequent loose watery bowel movement.  some cases, it occurs within a day or two and stops after some time without medical attention this is referred to acute diarrhoea.

In cases where it occurs within weeks or more, it is called chronic diarrhoea and it can be a symptom/sign of a serious infection or disease which needs to be attended to.

Diarrhoea occurs to people of all ages, in infant, children and adult.


Diarrhoea can be caused by so many reasons, it can occur due to bad hygiene system which can include drinking of contaminated water.

The common causes of diarrhoea includes:

  • Bacteria of which salmonella species is the chief of them, other bacteria which causes diarrhoea includes; campylobacter, Escherichia coli, shingella.
  • Viruses
  • Parasitic organism.

Chronic diarrhoea can be a symptom of an infection or disease such as cancer (it can be termed neoplastic diarrhoea)

It be caused by also be caused by certain drugs such as antibiotics and few other drugs.

It can also be caused by HIV/AIDS.

It can be caused by digestive disturbance due to Mal absorption (improper digestion of food).


  • Due to the water and electrolyte loss that takes place as one frequents the toilet there is bound to be some dehydration.
  • General body weakness is experienced
  • Pronounced frequent bowel movement of the digestive system,
  • Abdominal cramps and stomach pain is a common experience.

Other symptoms may include;

  • Change in stool colour.
  • Presence of blood, pus, mucus, or fat in stool.
  • Weight loss.
  • Febrile feeling.
  • In severe cases vomiting also occurs continuously.


In cases of acute diarrhoea, the body’s immunity can eliminate the bacteria and other pathogens causing the diarrhoea within two or three days and medical treatment may not be necessary.

In cases of chronic diarrhoea, medical examination need to be carried out by a physician/doctor to know the underlying cause and for appropriate treatment to be given after proper diagnosis.

Symptomatic treatment (management or treatment of a disease by treatment of the accompanying symptom) may be necessary in cases of;

  • Dehydration

In this case rehydration is necessary, drinking of water frequently in moderate volumes, also ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) is also advised due to it benefit in replenishing body electrolyte and can be very effective in treating non severe diarrhoea.

Note:    zinc supplements aids in the reduction of diarrhoea in infant and children.

  • Dietary
  • During the occurrence of diarrhoea, fried and sugary food should be avoided.
  • Meals with high fibre content should be encouraged as well as consumption of meal rich in potassium should be encouraged.
  • Consumption of liquid should come before and minutes after meal but not during meals.

Note:    Caffeine containing drinks may also worsen diarrhoea as well as sugary meals and meals with high magnesium content (due to the laxative effect of magnesium)


Some medications induce/causes and worsen diarrhoea. In such a case the medication should be stopped.

Drugs that reduce the frequent bowel movement such as Imodium are presented for the treatment of diarrhoea.

Probiotics are given to travelers, who may be traveling to an endemic (prevalent) area or region. A typical example of such probiotics are lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli) which naturally are found in yogurt and some other dietary product and dietary supplement.


The best approach to the prevention of diarrhoea is safe and proper hygiene practices which include proper hand washing after defecation or exposure to a dirt or contaminated surface or object.

Clean and safe drinking water free of pathogens and other contaminants should be greatly avoided.

A proper sanitation system is advised to reduce the chances of contamination. Food should be properly stored, or refrigerated to reduce chances of contamination and meals should be well boiled before consumption.

Proper education of these process is necessary to curtail the spread of diarrhoea.

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