So how does diarrhoea take place?
Osmotic- there are large quantities of non absorbed hypertonic substances in the bowel that draw fluid with them
This means that the diarrhoea will stop when the patient doesn't eat!
Causes: laxatives, malabsorption (generalised or specific)
Increased secretion of fluid and electrolytes but a decreased absorption
Bile salts, enterotoxins and fatty acids are produced in excess
Common in IBS
Foul smelling, gassy, white hard to flush stools
Causes: shigella or salmonella
Damage to the mucosal causes there to be a loss of fluid and blood.
Acute is diarrhoea lasting less than 2 weeks
Chronic is diarrhoea lasting more than 2 weeks
This is the abnormal passage of loose or liquid stools more than 3 times daily
It is normally due to traveller's diarrhoea i.e a bacterial or viral cause
Treatment= hydration and loperamide hydrochloride
This is diarrhoea that has been lasting for less than 2 weeks
Organ causes i.e. change in an organ's structure (increased stool weight) must be differentiated from functional cause (IBS or Crohns)
Look at faecal markers
Diarrhoea that has been persistent for more than 2 weeks
SUDDEN ONSET AND CRAMPY ABDO PAINS SUGGESTS INFECTIVE CAUSE
Bowel frequency and bloodstained stools suggest an inflammatoyr cause