Living4 Reasons why you have diarrhea

4 Reasons why you have diarrhea

What a topic we have today! why do we have diarrhoea? , a situation that can put you in trouble at any time, limit your outings and even put your health at risk. And all because you think it’s something temporary, which may be true, but not sure. Or because you prefer to avoid the subject altogether. And I don’t blame you because, the truth is that it’s not a topic we like to talk about, unless it’s with your doctor (you already know that you have to tell us everything to doctors, openly).

But don’t worry, in today’s article you are not going to leave any type of trace, so this information will remain between us, nobody will know that you have read about it.

When can we talk about diarrhea?

The first thing to do is define when we are really in the presence of diarrhea because, believe it or not, this is an issue that not everyone is clear about. We wonder if going to the bathroom every day is normal or if 3 times a week is enough or if 3 times a day is already considered diarrhea.

And the answer to this is… it depends.

Yes it depends. It depends on your body because the human body is complex even to defecate.

Note that a study conducted in the United States revealed that it is considered normal both to go 3 times a day to defecate and to go only 3 times a week. More than that or less than that could be considered a bowel problem. But if you are within the range we could talk about normality.

Now, if you normally defecate 3 times a week and suddenly start to defecate 3 times a day, be careful because such a sudden change in the final process of digestion can hide some type of symptom. We speak of diarrhea when there is a greater frequency of evacuation than is normally done or when they are more watery than normal.

And if that is what is happening to you, it is worth reading this article until the end because here I will tell you what frequently happens.

1. You have changed your diet

It is not a serious type of diarrhea, since it is rather a normal reaction of the body when changing the diet that we normally consume. For example, you have added more fiber to breakfast or you have stopped consuming flour, in either case you may have caused more evacuation.

It is possible, and very frequent, that this happens to you when you travel. Since you start eating things that you normally don’t eat, that’s why it’s common to call this type of diarrhea “traveler’s diarrhea”. Be careful because traveler’s diarrhea also includes a food infection, and this is precisely what we will talk about in the next point.

2. You have an intestinal infection

Diarrhea is often caused by some viral or bacterial infection and diarrhea is the body’s way of reacting to eliminate that virus or bacteria. It is also usually caused by some parasitic infection transmitted by drinking untreated water. It is something that you have to be very careful about when you go on excursions or visit countries that do not usually have treated water. Always ask for bottled water and make sure that you are the one who opens the bottle. Oh, and don’t ask for ice, since the vast majority of these are made with tap water.

Another way to get an infection is when we neglect hygiene, by not washing (or washing badly) our hands when we go to the bathroom. It is more common in young children and when we visit unhygienic places such as public toilets.

Giardia lamblia is the parasite that normally causes this type of diarrhea and to avoid it, it is best to boil the water when you are not sure of its origin. Filtration or chlorination is usually not enough in many cases.

People with a weak immune system or who suffer from diabetes, kidney, heart or liver disease are more likely to suffer from this type of infection.

3. You suffer from any disease in the digestive tract

Here we have to talk about more serious and complicated issues. And while the cause of diarrhea is rarely related to a serious illness, it may be a symptom of a disease of the digestive tract. Some of these diseases can be:

  • Intussusception (disorder in which part of the intestine folds up inside itself, much like a collapsible telescope.)
  • Cystic fibrosis (a disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body.)
  • Celiac disease (autoimmune condition that damages the lining of the small intestine. This damage comes from a reaction to eating gluten. This is a substance found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.)

And these are cases in which you will have to go to the doctor, yes or yes.

And… how do you know when it’s time to go to the doctor?

You have to be very careful to avoid dehydration that the body can suffer from diarrhea, since it causes you to lose liquid and vital mineral salts for the body.

My advice is that you go to the doctor when:

  • Diarrhea persists for more than two days
  • If there is also constant vomiting
  • Diarrhea is accompanied by severe abdominal pain
  • If there is blood in the stool
  • stools are black
  • Diarrhea accompanied by fever with temperatures above 39°C.
  • any questions you have

 

4. You have the “craving in your stomach”

And, last but not least, there is a type of diarrhea that has surely happened to you at some point. Diarrhea due to fright or nerves. This often happens when you least expect it, for example, before a job interview, when taking an important exam for you, before a presentation or when you have 1000 things to do but you have hours left.

In all these cases you are facing emotional diarrhea, your body is fighting against anxiety and it will pass when you have faced what makes you nervous or when you learn to control emotions with some meditation or psychotherapy.

References:

Mitsuhashi S, Ballou S, Jiang ZG, Hirsch W, Nee J, Iturrino J, Cheng V, Lembo A. Characterizing Normal Bowel Frequency and Consistency in a Representative Sample of Adults in the United States (NHANES). Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jan;113(1):115-123. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.213. Epub 2017 Aug 1. PMID: 28762379.

Fond G, Loundou A, Hamdani N, Boukouaci W, Dargel A, Oliveira J, Roger M, Tamouza R, Leboyer M, Boyer L. Anxiety and depression comorbidities in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2014 Dec;264(8):651-60. doi: 10.1007/s00406-014-0502-z. Epub 2014 Apr 6. PMID: 24705634.

 

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