Every one of us has suffered from diarrhea at some point in our lives. Currently, WHO declared it the second most common cause of death among children. In this article I will elaborate upon twelve main causes of diarrhea.
- Dysbiosis in the gut– This actually means imbalance in gut flora. As there is no specific definition different experts define in different but the concept remains the same. The balance in our gut is maintained by various species of gut bacteria and if one species become totally extinct and the other shows a superfluous growth then an imbalance is created. This causes diarrhea which may persist for many days.
- Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome– The large intestine gives shelter to most of the gut bacteria. If these bacteria somehow manages entry into the small intestine it leads to diarrhea as it interferes with absorption of important food stuff which is eliminated in undigested form.
- Parasites– These are organisms which feed on host to survive. Some commonly diarrhea causing parasites are Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica, Strongyloides, and Cryptosporidium which contaminate our food and drink to enter our body.
- Yeast- Candida is a very important yeast-like fungus in our digestive tract but overgrowth of yeast is harmful as it releases toxins which cause bowel cramps, gas, diarrhea and bloating.
- Gluten- Gluten is a protein present in wheat, rye and many other cereals. Some people are allergic to gluten which manifests as chronic diarrhea called celiac disease.
- Dairy products- Lactose, whey and casein are the three important components of milk that can cause diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is a common problem in elderly as the enzyme for breakdown of lactose decreases with age. Whey and casein can cause diarrhea in patients with pre-existing gut wall injury. Restriction of dairy products is the only solution to this problem.
- FODMAP’S– This comprises of the fermentable disaccharides, oligosaccharides, polyols and monosaccharide. If the gut wall is unhealthy absorption of FODMAP’s is severely compromised and undigested particles pull water into the gut lumen causing bloating diarrhea.
- Stress factor– Gut is supplies by a network of nerves called Enteric Nervous System. It has both parasympathetic and sympathetic supply. Increased stress lead to increased parasympathetic discharge which leads to diarrhea.
- Physical stress –Exercise can do wonders for you but if done in excess can cause significant damage. Abnormally excess workout releases a lot of heat in the intestines which can damage the gut wall and cause colic and diarrhea. This is mainly seen in long distance runners.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – Ulcerative coliis and Crohn’s disease are together termed as IBD can also chronic diarrhea along with some systemic symptoms.
- Traveler’s diarrhea– It is generally caused by some virus or bacteria contaminated through food or water and require prompt fluid replenishment and antibiotics for treatment.
- Fat malabsorption– It occurs due to many factors like gut wall abnormalities, gall bladder disease or pancreatic insufficiency.
If you suffer from diarrhea be sure it is because of one the above mentioned causes. Prompt consultation with a general practitioner can resolve the disease without much of a problem. Some effective home remedies are also useful as handy measures to treat diarrhea.