Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose or liquid bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss.
>Signs of dehydration – Begins with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behavior. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are breastfed, however, may be normal
Causes –The most common cause is an infection of the intestines due to virus, bacteria, or parasite; a condition known as gastroenteritis.
These infections are often acquired from food or water that has been contaminated by stool, or directly from another person who is infected.
It may be divided into three types: – short duration watery diarrhea, short duration bloody diarrhea, and if it lasts for more than two weeks, persistent diarrhea. The short duration watery diarrhea may be due to an infection by cholera, although this is rare in the developed world. If blood is present it is also known as dysentery.
A number of non-infectious causes may also result in diarrhea, including hyperthyroidism, lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, a number of medications, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Management of infectious diarrhea– Prevention is done by improved sanitation, clean water drinking, Hand washing with soap. Breastfeeding for at least six months is also recommended as is vaccination against rotavirus.
>Treatment of diarrhea — includes
- Oral rehydration solution (ORS), which is clean water with modest amounts of salts and sugar, is the treatment of choice.
- Zinc tablets are also recommended when people have diarrhea, it is recommended that they continue to eat healthy food and babies continue to be breastfed.
- In those with severe dehydration, intravenous fluids may be required Most cases, can be managed well with fluids by mouth.
- Antibiotics, while rarely used, may be recommended in a few cases such as those who have bloody diarrhea and a high fever, those with severe diarrhea following travelling, and those who grow specific bacteria or parasites in their stool.
Homoeopathic treatment – As there are so many medicines available in homoeopathy for diarrhea, for proper selection of medicine according to patient’s complain one must consult homoeopathic physician.
- Arsenicum — Stools that are acrid and tend to burn the anus, in small quantity, offensive, dark yellow or green colored with prostration following diarrhea. Eating spoiled or tainted food or eating too much fruit, Cold drink causes diarrhea. Restless, they are also very anxious and tend to feel fearful about being alone. Symptoms worst at and after midnight, and they are very thirsty but for sips only of fluids at a time. They are extremely chilly, warm drinks provide some relief. They tend to break out in a cold sweat, and feel better when covered.
- Podophyllum — usually experience gurgling in the abdomen with a very sudden urge to have a stool. The stools are profuse and offensive smelling, and are usually expelled with great force and little pain, followed by great exhaustion after each stool. Diarrhea is aggravated by eating, drinking, and moving around and may alternate with a headache. There may be empty retching; they have a great thirst for cold fluids. Podophyllum is also very useful in case of summer diarrhea that is diarrhea due to exposure to sun heat.
- Mercurius –– is very effective in treating people with diarrhea who have the “never completely done” feeling. Typically, they experience much retching during release of the stool, and the stool may have some blood in it. This retching tends to exhaust them. They are sensitive to extremes of temperature and may at one time feel chilly and at another time feel feverish. Symptoms are worse at night. They sweat profusely, have offensive breath, usually salivate onto the pillow, and tend to be quite slow and weak both physically and mentally. There is a strong thirst for cold fluids.
- Veratrum album — is indicated when people have diarrhea and vomiting and are very chilly and weak. There is profuse diarrhea with not much prostration following as like in Arsenic. Despite being chilly, they tend to crave ice cold drinks. They may also have bloated abdomens and experience stomach cramps.
- Chamomilla – is indicated primarily in infants and children, especially when they are extremely irritable, quarrelsome, fitful, and inconsolable. Typically, they ask for something and then reject it once it is offered. Only rocking and being carried provide temporary relief of their discomfort. They are aggravated by heat, worse in the evening until midnight, and better from cold drinks. Diarrhea due to teething problem. Stool is offensive, green, and slimy, like chopped grass, and it smells like rotten eggs.
- Sulphur — There is a sudden, involuntary expulsion of stool, including when patient thinks, he is passing gas. The stool is thin, watery, offensive, acrid, and smells of rotten eggs. It tends to be painlessly expelled. There may be morning diarrhea as soon as person wakes in morning, has to rush for passing stool due to sudden urge. Cold sweat on the face and feet are common, and these people are very thirsty for cold drinks and have little appetite. Emotionally, they are irritable and weepy with indifference to their appearance and to their bodily odors.