When there's an increase of water in one's stool, this is usually labeled as a case of diarrhea. It can vary in texture going from soft to extremely watery, and is caused when the digestion process doesn't function normally due to certain factors. When digestion takes place, food in the stomach is kept in liquid form where the stomach releases water, along with water secretion from the upper intestine, gallbladder and pancreas. When food isn't digested properly it moves to the lower small intestine and the colon, in liquid form quickly. When water is absorbed by the intestine and colon, this is then passed out in stool form.
If there is a lot of water secretion by the stomach and other organs in the digestive system, it doesn't give the small intestine and colon enough time to remove water since food passes through rapidly. It can come about due to many reasons like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis or even Crohn's disease. Here we get into the classification of watery diarrhea, its symptoms and treatment.
Types of Diarrhea
There are three kinds of diarrhea scenarios, namely - secretory, osmotic and exudative. The first kind takes place due to a drug reaction or infection and happens when water is released by the body into the bowel. The second is when something like 'sorbitol', draws water from the body to the bowel, like when it is not absorbed properly by the system. The third one takes place due to diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis leading to the formation of pus and blood that passes through along with one's stool.
There are different factors that play a role in watery diarrhea. These are...
- Microscopic colitis
- Marathon runs
- Cryptosporidium and giardia lamblia are two kinds of parasites that appear in contaminated water and food, leading to diarrhea
- Certain foods upset the digestive system
- Celiac disease
- Bacteria present in antibiotics can mess with already existing bacteria in one's intestine, altering their state. This can lead to an intestinal infection caused by the clostridium difficile bacterium.
- Viruses like the Norwalk virus, viral hepatitis and cytomegalovirus
- Allergies towards certain foods
- Laxative abuse
- Fructose can cause diarrhea among those who find it difficult to digest it within the system
- Those who are lactose intolerant will experience diarrhea due to the body's inability to break down dairy products
- Surgeries like gallbladder removal and abdominal cavity surgery, often lead patients to experience diarrhea
- Artificial sweeteners are said to bring about diarrhea, due to the presence of sorbitol and mannitol
- Radiation therapy
- Alcohol abuse
- Some cancer forms
The symptoms of diarrhea can lead to either a normal three-four day period of the ailment or can escalate to a complicated case of diarrhea. A serious illness is usually linked to a severe case of diarrhea and its subsequent symptoms. It is important to keep a tab on signs of diarrhea and get it checked out pronto by a doctor.
- Stool is loose or runny
- Undigested food/mucus/blood in the stool
- Stool is watery.
- Repetitive runs to the toilet
- Rapid weight loss
Water diarrhea treatment combines different methods of dealing with these cases. It is advisable to go on a diet designed for those who suffer from diarrhea to help yourself get better soon.
These are given to cut down the duration of symptoms in a patient. Depending on how you contracted the illness, be it from traveling to another country, or digesting contaminated edibles and water, the doctor will provide medicines accordingly.
The doctor can put patients on an intravenous line for those who are overly dehydrated, and cannot consume liquids and food. These salt solutions passing through the body will replace what is lost and make patients feel a whole lot better.
Over the Counter Medicines
OTC medicines are anti diarrheal medication such as Pepto-Bismol and Imodium, which help people with diarrhea, and is not recommended to infants and kids.
These are available without prescriptions and come under two kinds namely, polycarbophil and attapulgite. Products that fall under these.
- Konsyl Fiber
- Kaopectate Advanced Formula
Watery diarrhea can be avoided by staying away from foods and water that aren't clean or fresh. It is also important to wash your hands on a regular basis, especially before handling food. If certain foods trigger a reaction from your body, don't abuse your system by eating them again, or it would lead to watery diarrhea after eating, and could be much worse another time around. That is why it is imperative to stay clear from foods that cause this bowel problem.
If signs and symptoms reach a critical level, when experiencing these for a long period of time, you need to then immediately get it checked out without prolonging your untreated state.