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Diarrhoea Symptoms

Diarrhoea or Diarrhoea is discomfort caused in the stomach usually due to a virus or contaminated food. It is a disorder related to irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. Diarrhoea Symptoms include watery stools, stomach pain, loose and frequent sensation for stool. Some Diarrhoea infections require the need of antibiotics to make people better and severe cases lead to more dehydration that may require intravenous fluids to be administered for recovery. So, we can conclude that the following Diarrhoea Symptoms occur if one suffers from Diarrhoea.

  • Loose or thin stools

  • Watery stool

  • Cramp or Abdominal pain

  • Bloating in the belly region

  • Urgency for bowel movement

  • Nausea and vomiting

Some of the other severe Symptoms of Diarrhoea include weight loss, fever and blood or mucus in the stool. We often treat Diarrhoea at home with precautionary measures, drinking ORS and avoiding oily food; however, if Diarrhoea is not treatable for long days and causes much dehydration, it is best to visit a nearby hospital or take help from the doctor.


What is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is a disorder caused due to bowel infection or gastroenteritis which can be majorly because of a virus such as rotavirus or a norovirus as well as bacteria such as E.coli and Clostridium difficile.

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What Causes Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is caused by various factors but it does not occur due to any underlying disease. The primary reason for this is the reduction in the absorption of fluid by the intestines and also an increase in the secretion of fluid or liquid and speedy passage of bowel waste through the intestines. Some of the Causes of Diarrhoea are listed below.

  1. Excess liquid diet

  2. Alcohol abuse

  3. Food intolerance

  4. Stress/Anxiety

  5. Use of laxatives

  6. Food allergies

  7. Diabetes

  8. Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

  9. Spicy food not suited for the digestive system

  10. Food poisoning (bacterial infection)

  11. Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism

  12. Certain medications

  13. Radiation therapy

  14. Skin cancers

  15. Malabsorption

  16. Surgery related to digestive disorders

Types of Diarrhoea

There are majorly two types of Diarrhoea, namely-

  1. Acute Diarrhoea

Acute watery Diarrhoea lasts for 2-3 days and is not a life-threatening condition. It also includes cholera and acute blood Diarrhoea known as dysentery that may last for several hours or days. It can be cured with the help of prescribed medications. 

  1. Chronic Diarrhoea 

It is persistent Diarrhoea that can last for 14 or even more days and it is caused due to some underlying gastrointestinal disorder. 


Some of the Other Types of Diarrhoea Include the Following: 

  • Secretory Diarrhoea– It is the secretion of excess fluid into the intestines.

  • Osmotic Diarrhoea– It is caused when excessive water is drawn into the bowels.

  • Motility-related Diarrhoea– It is the condition where intestines are highly active and transport intestinal contents with high speed, there is not enough time for absorption of water and electrolytes. It results in watery and loose stools. 

  • Collagenous Colitis– Here, the intestinal lining is damaged and it cannot absorb water and electrolytes.

  • Inflammatory Diarrhoea– It is caused when intestines are damaged due to bacterial or fungal infections.


Treatment of Diarrhoea

Usually, acute Diarrhoea can be treated within 2-3 days depending upon the controlled diet or regime. It is best to take some suggestions from a physician if it's bothering you for long. Some of the beneficial steps are having plain food without spice and taking oral electrolyte solutions. Doctors may suggest some of the following treatments for Diarrhoea:

  • Antibiotics are helpful for the symptoms caused by bacterial or parasitic infections.

  • Water containing salt and electrolytes help in replacing the lost fluids, eg: ORS solution.

  • Certain medications may treat Diarrhoea symptomatically.

Signs of Diarrhoea When it’s Must to Visit Doctor

Many times, we take Diarrhoea lightly and think it will be normal within a few days. However, we should observe the symptoms when it is long-lasting and go to the doctor for suggestions instead of trying ineffective medications at home. 

Following are some of the severity observed in Diarrhoea that is a sign for fastest doctor visit:

  1. Blood in stool or tarry and black stool

  2. Fever that lasts for over 24 hours

  3. Excess throwing up and nausea prevent you to eat or drink anything

  4. Severe abdominal pain or rear portion

  5. Diarrhoea after coming back home from foreign places

  6. Dark coloured urine

  7. Rapid heart rate

  8. Headaches

  9. Dry skin

  10. Crankiness

  11. Confusion

Points To Remember

  • Diarrhoea was derived from the Greek words, ‘Dia’ and ‘Rhein’ which means flowing through. 

  • Diarrhoea is a condition that is not life-threatening, however, the symptoms vary depending on the factors. 

  • It happens when the intestines absorb the fluids significantly less or if there is an increase in the secretion of fluids.

  • There are two kinds of Diarrhoea. 

  • Acute Diarrhoea can last for a couple of days or so but not more than a week.

  • Chronic Diarrhoea tends to last longer for weeks and it can also happen due to underlying gastrointestinal diseases. 

  • Secretory Diarrhoea occurs when there is more secretion of fluids. 

  • Osmotic Diarrhoea occurs when there is excess water drawn in the bowels. 

  • Motility-related Diarrhoea occurs when the intestines are overly active in transferring the contents, giving it less time to absorb the water and electrolytes. 

  • In Collagenous colitis, the intestinal lines are damaged so they fail to absorb the fluids. 

  •  If the walls of the intestines are damaged by fungal or bacterial infections then it is known as inflammatory Diarrhoea. 

  • Antibiotics, salt, and medicines that treat symptomatically can greatly help someone who is suffering from Diarrhoea. 

Quick Ways to Understand this Chapter 

Biology is a subject that some students find tough and some find it easy because it has more things to remember in this subject and there are practical things that are done in the lab. It is vast but it is an interesting subject. In order to ace in this chapter, students might follow the tips given below -

  • Be Attentive in Class

Students might think they know the chapter and might not be attentive to which they will be left behind with many doubts later or may not understand the chapter. It is a lengthy chapter with so many points so it is essential to pay attention in the classes. 

  • Read the Chapter

Students should keep in practice to always read or study the chapters after it is taught in the class. This will help the students to get whether they have understood the topic or not. It will get vast and confusing if the students don’t follow a routine in studying. 

  • Write Down the Doubts  

After studying the topic students might have some doubts which they should write it down so that they can ask their teacher later. Noting the doubts helps students understand where they stand with the chapter and know if it is too hard or easy for them. It gives an overall idea of the topic. 

  • Make Notes 

Students should always make notes while the teacher teaches in class. They can make the notes in short but in a way that they can understand and will be easy to revise just by reading the notes. They can always make their own notes by referring to the book and notes. This will help the student to learn and remember in the process of making the notes.

  • Practicals 

Students should be attentive while the practicals are done in the lab, by watching the experiments they can get the knowledge of the topic. This has helped many students to remember the topic. 

  • Study to Understand 

Don't just read the powerpoints, notes, and books. Try to understand the topic while reading it. It will develop a sense of understanding that will help the students during any exams in the future. 

  • Discuss With Friends 

Discussing with others on any topics makes the topic more interesting because this will be more interactive. Friends can also share knowledge which might be important. It will help the students memorise the topic more effectively after discussing the correct and wrong answers with their friends. 

  • Try to Test the Knowledge

After completing studying a topic students should take a test for themself which will make the student know which concepts are not clear and can be cleared with the teachers or tutors.

  • Solve the Questions From the Textbook, Sample Papers, and Practice Papers

After completing the chapter a student should try to solve the questions given at the back of the chapter. This will cover half of the chapter’s topic and will help the students to know the type of questions are present in the chapter. 

  • Solve Previous Year’s Question Papers 

This step will help the students who will appear for the board exams. They should collect the last year's question papers and try to solve the answers by themselves. This will give them some idea about the pattern of the question paper and the questions which are important. 

Students can always download the study materials from Vedantu regarding any topic of Biology from the website. The previous year's question papers are also available on the website of Vedantu and can be downloaded in PDF form. If they still have any doubts then they can join the online life - classes in Vedantu.

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FAQs on Diarrhea

1. What is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhea is the abnormal bowel movement that leads to watery and loose stools. If you have an urge to empty your bowels more than 3 times a day, it is often termed as diarrhoea or diarrhea. 

2. What is the Difference Between Diarrhea and Dysentery?

Diarrhea is a discomfortable condition where one needs to pass loose or watery stools frequently (at least 3-4 times a day) whereas dysentery is an intestinal inflammation, that occurs in the colon, and is a condition of severe diarrhea with mucus or blood seen in the feces. Therefore, dysentery needs medical attention and doctor’s medications for treatment.

3. What are the Reasons for Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is often caused by a virus or bacterium. Sometimes, it may be food poisoning or allergic food that leads to diarrhea. Some medications are also responsible for creating loose stools and food that are not suitable for our digestive system can lead to diarrhea. Other reasons for diarrhea are radiation therapy, malabsorption or poor absorption of food, infected food intake and surgeries related to the digestive system. 

4. Which is the Bacteria Causing Diarrhoea?

Several types of bacteria are responsible for causing diarrhoea and some of these belong to the family of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter.

Besides bacteria, rotavirus is also known to cause diarrhoea.

5. Which is the Most Dangerous Symptom of Diarrhoea?

Dehydration is the major symptom of diarrhoea that causes you to lose water from the body. When one loses excess fluid than the intake, the body doesn't have enough water or  other fluids to carry out its normal functions. In this condition, one should replace the lost fluids via oral electrolytes solution consisting of salts, warm water and sugar.

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