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**Types of Diarrhea:**
– Secretory diarrhea involves increased secretion or inhibition of absorption.
– Osmotic diarrhea results from excess water drawn into the bowels.
– Exudative diarrhea is characterized by blood and pus in the stool.

**Effects of Diarrhea:**
– Diarrheal disease impacts physical fitness and mental development.
– Childhood malnutrition from diarrhea reduces physical fitness and work productivity.
– Diarrhea can cause electrolyte imbalances, kidney impairment, and developmental issues.

**Causes and Infections:**
– Acute diarrhea is mainly due to viral gastroenteritis, with rotavirus common in children.
– Bacterial infections are predominant in travelers.
– Infectious diarrhea is caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

**Symptoms and Treatment:**
– Symptoms include loose or liquid bowel movements, dehydration, cramps, and bloating.
– Treatment involves rehydration, electrolyte replacement, and managing symptoms with medications.
– Antibiotics may be prescribed for bacterial infections causing diarrhea.

**Prevention Measures:**
– Preventive measures include handwashing, proper food handling, and drinking clean water.
– Vaccination against rotavirus can reduce diarrhea incidence in children.
– Maintaining good hygiene practices is essential for preventing diarrhea.

Diarrhea (Wikipedia)

Diarrhea (American English), also spelled diarrhoea or diarrhœa (British English), is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements in a day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behaviour. 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 exclusively breastfed, however, are normal.

Other namesDiarrhoea (or diarrhœa)
An electron micrograph of rotavirus, the cause of nearly 40% of hospitalizations from diarrhea in children under five
SpecialtyInfectious disease, gastroenterology
SymptomsLoose frequent bowel movements, dehydration
CausesUsually infection (viral, bacterial, parasitic)
Risk factorsContaminated food or water
PreventionHandwashing, rotavirus vaccination, breastfeeding
TreatmentOral rehydration solution, zinc supplementation
Frequency≈2.4 billion (2015)
Deaths1.53 million (2019)
What is diarrhea, how is it caused, treated and prevented (see also script).
Bristol stool scale

The most common cause is an infection of the intestines due to either a virus, bacterium, or parasite—a condition also known as gastroenteritis. These infections are often acquired from food or water that has been contaminated by feces, or directly from another person who is infected. The three types of diarrhea are: short duration watery diarrhea, short duration bloody diarrhea, and persistent diarrhea (lasting more than two weeks, which can be either watery or bloody). The short duration watery diarrhea may be due to 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 can result in diarrhea. These include lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, hyperthyroidism, bile acid diarrhea, and a number of medications. In most cases, stool cultures to confirm the exact cause are not required.

Diarrhea can be prevented by improved sanitation, clean drinking water, and hand washing with soap. Breastfeeding for at least six months and vaccination against rotavirus is also recommended. Oral rehydration solution (ORS)—clean water with modest amounts of salts and sugar—is the treatment of choice. Zinc tablets are also recommended. These treatments have been estimated to have saved 50 million children in the past 25 years. When people have diarrhea it is recommended that they continue to eat healthy food, and babies continue to be breastfed. If commercial ORS is not available, homemade solutions may be used. In those with severe dehydration, intravenous fluids may be required. Most cases, however, 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. Loperamide may help decrease the number of bowel movements but is not recommended in those with severe disease.

About 1.7 to 5 billion cases of diarrhea occur per year. It is most common in developing countries, where young children get diarrhea on average three times a year. Total deaths from diarrhea are estimated at 1.53 million in 2019—down from 2.9 million in 1990. In 2012, it was the second most common cause of deaths in children younger than five (0.76 million or 11%). Frequent episodes of diarrhea are also a common cause of malnutrition and the most common cause in those younger than five years of age. Other long term problems that can result include stunted growth and poor intellectual development.

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