Diarrhea is loose, watery, and frequent stools. Diarrhea is considered chronic when person has loose stools longer than 4 weeks. Diarrhea in adults is usually mild and resolves quickly without complication. In infants and children diarrhea is more concerning. Children can become dehydrated quickly.
The most common cause of diarrhea is a mild viral infection that resolves on its own within few days. This is called viral gastroenteritis which occurs most often as mini-epidemics in schools, neighborhoods, or families.
Food poisoning and traveler’s diarrhea are two other common causes. They occur from eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria or parasites.
Certain medical conditions such as
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Malabsorption syndrome
- Immune deficiency
Can lead to diarrhea, medications such as certain antibiotics, laxatives, chemotherapy drugs can also induce diarrhea.
Diagnosis of diarrhea – diagnosis of acute diarrhea mainly include
- Spot stool specimen – occult blood, leukocyte, ova, cyst, and parasites.
- Blood test – complete blood count, differential leukocyte count, blood culture, ESR, and C-reactive protein
- Rigid sigmoidoscopy and biopsy
- Plain abdominal radiograph
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Duodenal aspirates
Tests to evaluate chronic diarrhea
- Spot stool examination
- Blood tests
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy and biopsy
- Gastroscopy and duodenal biopsy
- CT scan of abdomen and pelvis
- Barium enema
- Barium meal and follow through
- Abdomino pelvic ultrasonography
- Small bowel enema
Homeopathic treatment of diarrhea
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat diarrhoea but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat diarrhoea that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of diarrhoea:
Aesculus hip – chronic diarrhoea, stool first hard and black, later becomes yellow, thin, watery associated with severe lumber and sacral pains, weakness, weariness, and sleepiness.
Aconite – diarrhea from checked perspiration, during heat of summer, from fight or anger, in cold nights, corrosive slimy stools, frequent and involuntary.
Aethusa cynapium – green, thin, bilious discharges, with violent tenesmus, stools of partly digested food, just after meal or at night. Stool loose with cutting in abdomen.
Agaricus – excellent remedy for diarrhea in wet weather.
Aloes – remarkable remedy for diarrhea, profuse watery diarrhea; wants of confidence in sphincter ani, early morning diarrhea, driving out of bed in the morning; urging of stool continuously worse immediately after eating; feeling of fullness and weight in the pelvis, with passage of urine, only hot flatus passes, giving relief but burning in anus afterwards; stool difficult to retain; even a well formed stool passes unnoticed; aggravation hot damp weather, overheating, after cold in a damp room, after chagrin; urging with intense gripping, pinching pain across the lower part of abdomen.
Nux Vomica – diarrhea due to over eating and diet errors and indigestible foods; pain in abdomen before stools; stools contain undigested particles of food; diarrhea after debauch.
Podophyllum – diarrhoea green watery, fetid, profuse, and gushing; Worse during teething and in the morning, while bathing or washing and in hot weather; Camp diarrhea; Diarrhea alternating with constipation; Prolapse of rectum, before or with stool.
Pulsatilla – diarrhea after measles; stool contains u digested food particles; diarrhoea due to food poisoning.
Natrum Sulph – stools involuntary while passing flatus; early morning diarrhea; great size of fecal masses.
Veratrum album – painful diarrhea; watery, copious, and forcefully evacuated followed by great weakness.
Arsenic album – useful in cases where there is marked restlessness; anguish and intolerance of pain; quantity of stool passed is small and prostration and weakness is out of all proportion to the quantity passed; great thirst for small quantities of water at short intervals.
Croton Tig – stool yellow, watery, expelled suddenly, gunshot diarrhea; aggravated by drink or food; diarrhoea associated with nausea and vomiting; every movement causes discharge.
Graphites – stool of brown fluid mixed with undigested substances and an intolerable fetid odor.
Sulphur – morning diarrhea ordinarily at the time when the patient begins to think about rising; between midnight and morning
Antim crud – alternate diarrhoea and constipation in old people; diarrhoea after overheating; after nursing, after cold bathing, at night and early morning; diarrhoea with nausea and vomiting, colic and loss of appetite; diarrhoea from acid, vinegar; stool profuse, watery, with little hard lumps.
Diarrhoea on alternate days, rectum inactive, even a soft, thin stool requires great straining, patient cannot pass until there is large accumulation; diarrhea when she urinates.
Argentum Nitricum – remarkable remedy for nervous diarrhea, diarrhea from anticipation or apprehension; when ready to go to church, opera, theatre, etc. diarrhea from taking sweets, from drinking; diarrhea during dentition; stool green, flaky, like spinach, mucus, with much flatulence.
Bryonia Alba – diarrhoea due to suddenly checked perspiration in hot weather, from getting overheated in summers; from drinking milk; desire from cold drinks and acids, for large quantities at long intervals; bilious diarrhea with lancinating pain.
Calcaria phos – diarrhea with much flatulency, caused by juicy fruits; after vexations, in school going girls with headaches; diarrhea during dentition.
Camphora – diarrhoea with great prostration and collapse; Dark brown r black stool with cutting pain in abdomen; rice watery stools
Cuprum met – violent diarrhea, with cramps in the stomach and chest; frequent watery diarrhea, with flakes; cold sweat; weak and small pulse; excellent remedy for cholera.
Dulcamara – diarrhea alternating with rheumatism; stool slimy, alternately yellow or greenish, whitish, watery; frequent; scanty; corrosive, with floculli, aggravation at night and in wet weather.
Iodum – diarrhea from pancreatic affections; chronic diarrhea of an exhausting character
Ipecaucuanha – autumnal diarrhea; chronic diarrhea, continuous nausea, stool as green as grass, putrid; frequent vomiting of jelly like green mucus.
Lycopodium – diarrhea after suppression of skin eruptions; stool thin brown or pale; excessive accumulation of flatulence.
Mag carb – stool like scum of frog pound; green or frothy white masses, floating on the green, watery stool; aggravate in hot weather, during dentition, from artificial food.
Phosphorous – watery diarrhea; with lumps of white mucus; morning diarrhea , exhausting stools; chronic diarrhoea with gradual loss of strength.