Diarrhea: Definition, Causes And Treatment

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Acute diarrhea ( gastroenteritis): is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by various bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens.

Diarrhea: increase frequency, fluidity, and volume of feces.

As for why diarrheal disorders are serious during infancy? this is because dehydrated much more quickly than adults.


Acute and infectious factors:

– Bacterial such as E.coli, salmonella, Shigella and Vibro cholera.

– Viral such as Rotavirus and Adeovirus .

– Fungal such as candida enteritis.

– Parasitic such as Giardia Lamblia.

– Normal flora after ingestion of antibiotic.

– Non-infectious factors.

– Allergy to certain foods.

– Metabolic disorders ( celiac disease ).

– Overfeeding.

– The unsuitable formula for age.

– Environmental factors.

– The rise of atmospheric temperature.

– Poor sanitation.

– Exposure to cold drafts.

– Low socio-economical status.

– Clinical manifestations:

– Greenish to yellow-green in color.

– Loose and fluid in consistency.

– May contain pus, mucus or blood.

– Frequency various from 2 to 20 time.

– Fever, anorexia, vomiting, rapid respiration, irritability, and general weakness.


– Poor skin turgor, and dry mucous membrane.

– Decreased urinary output.

– Sunken eyes and anterior fontanel.

– Rapid pulse, low blood pressure.

– Dry mouth, thirst.

– Loss of weight.

– Dehydration.

– Acidosis.

– Electrolyte imbalance.

– Infection.

Diagnostic evaluation:

– Health history.

– General physical appearance.

Laboratory studies :
– Serum electrolytes .

– Arterial blood gases analysis.

– CBC ( high HCT ) .

– Urine and stool analysis and culture.


– Prevention.

– Breastfeeding.

– Health education for mothers.

– Enteric isolation precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

– Maintain hydration.

– Supportive care.

Oral Rehydration Solution:
– Indication for all cases of dehydration as long as the child strong to drink.

Drug treatment:
– Symptomatic antidiarrheal drugs are usually not recommended.

– Anti-emetic drugs are not indicated.

– Antibiotic in the treatment of diarrhea.

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