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(dīərē`ə), frequent discharge of watery feces from the intestines, sometimes containing blood and mucus. It can be caused by excessive indulgence in alcohol or other liquids or foods that prove irritating to the stomach or intestine, by allergy to certain food products, by poisoning with heavy metals, by chemicals such as are found in cathartics, by hyperactivity of the nervous system, and by infection with a virus (intestinal grippe) or with bacteria or their toxins. Diarrhea is a concomitant of many infectious diseases, especially typhoid fevertyphoid fever
acute, generalized infection caused by Salmonella typhi. The main sources of infection are contaminated water or milk and, especially in urban communities, food handlers who are carriers.
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, bacillary or amebic dysenterydysentery
, inflammation of the intestine characterized by the frequent passage of feces, usually with blood and mucus. The two most common causes of dysentery are infection with a bacillus (see bacteria) of the Shigella group, and infestation by an ameba,
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, and choleracholera
or Asiatic cholera,
acute infectious disease caused by strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that have been infected by bacteriophages. The bacteria, which are found in fecal-contaminated food and water and in raw or undercooked seafood, produce a
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. Persistent diarrhea may result in severe dehydration and shock. It is therefore necessary to replace the fluid lost by the body. Treatment is with a bland diet and drugs that will decrease the activity of the intestines, as well as with specific measures directed at the underlying cause. The elderly are at especially high risk for diarrheal deaths caused by viruses. Ulcerative colitis is an inflamatory and ulcerative disease of the colon, properly described as "irritable bowl," and characterized by bloody diarrhea. Crohn's disease affects the distal ileum and colon, but may occur in any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus and perianal area. The symptoms are chronic diarrhea associated with abdominal pain, fever, anorexia, weight loss, and a mass or fullness in the right lower quadrant (of the abdomen).



frequent excretion of liquid intestinal contents. Diarrhea is the main symptom of such acute bacterial and viral intestinal diseases as dysentery, food poisonings, and colienteritis, as well as of cholera, intestinal invasions, and other inflammatory intestinal diseases. It can also be a symptom of chronic lesions of other digestive organs, for example, the stomach and pancreas; of general chronic diseases, such as tuberculosis; and of acute and chronic poisonings of exogenous (as from heavy metals) and endogenous (from renal insufficiency) origin. Diarrhea may also result from metabolic disturbances, from ingestion of excessive or coarse food, or from neuroses. In addition, it occurs in infantile, fermentative, and putrefactive dyspepsia.

The development of diarrhea is related to the liquefaction of the intestinal contents owing to an inflammatory exudate or to an accumulation of fluid in the intestinal lumen when the fluid’s absorption is hindered. The intestinal contents move more rapidly, stimulated by the prostaglandins, and there is a change in the transport of sodium and other electrolytes as well as osmotic shifts in the intestine. False, or constipation, diarrhea is a secondary liquefaction of the intestinal contents during prolonged constipation; a small quantity of liquid feces is excreted frequently.

The diagnosis of diarrhea varies with the disease and is based on the medical history and on examination of the feces. Therapy consists of treatment of the basic disease; special diets, antiinfectives, astringents, and enzymes are prescribed for symptomatic relief.



The passage of loose or watery stools, usually at more frequent than normal intervals.


(esp US), diarrhea
frequent and copious discharge of abnormally liquid faeces
References in periodicals archive ?
Keywords: Acute diarrhea, Amount of stool, Frequency of stool, Zinc supplements.
In some developed countries, Campylobacter has become the leading bacteria causing acute diarrhea in children.
11,12) There is growing data in children supporting racecadrotil use in acute diarrhea.
Characterization of human rotavirus recovered from children with acute diarrhea in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Acute diarrhea was defined as acute onset of change in stool frequency and consistency lasting for fewer than 14 days and without blood in stool examination.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that met the following criteria were considered to be eligible for the systematic review: hospital or community based, included children up to 5 years old with acute diarrhea, used zinc sulfate or gluconate associated or not with oral rehydration therapy in any dose for up to 14 days, and used placebo or oral rehydration therapy controls.
Rautanen T, Isolauri E, Salo E, Vaskari T Management of acute diarrhea with low osmolarity oral rehydration solutions and lactobacillus strain GG.
Among the problems are acute diarrhea and vomiting, rectal bleeding, acute liver failure, and infections in the liver.
Diarrhea--the passage of excessively watery feces--is common in dogs, and a wide range of factors can be responsible for the disorder, says Melanie Craven, DVM, an internist and researcher in gastroenterology at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, In some instances, she points out, acute diarrhea can be a transient and ultimately inconsequential occurrence, lasting but a few days and requiring no specific treatment.
A multicenter randomized clinical trial enrolled 571 children ranging in age from 3 to 36 months old with acute diarrhea who were otherwise born without any other serious conditions.
As a result of eating contaminated food, many Yemenis complain about abdominal pain, acute diarrhea and other ailments, according to Al-Safani.
Saleh added "It is expected that the number of new products reaches before the end of 2011 to / 60 / formulations to treat high cholesterol, mental illness and gastrointestinal disorders and erectile dysfunction and treatment of acute diarrhea.

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