You are here: What is Diarrhoea?

Emptyingthebowel.com

What is Diarrhoea?

E-mail Print PDF

What is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is one of the most common conditions in the world and there are not many who can deny having experienced at least one or two bouts of the unpleasant condition in their lifetime.

Diarrhoea occurs when the volume of fluids arriving into the colon exceeds its capacity to absorb the fluids, leading to the accumulation and passage of liquid or semi-solid stool.

Diarrhoea is not an illness in itself but a symptom of an underlying condition which may be acute or chronic in nature depending on the underlying cause.

Diarrhoea may be considered by many as a minor inconvenience but can be dangerous in children and the elderly and can lead to death.

Exposure by various agents ,that may be present in the food and fluids that we consume, to the delicate lining of the gastrointestinal tract may induce excessive secretion of fluids into the lumen of the intestines or reduced absorption of water from the intestines.
Insult and injury to the lining of the intestines may disrupt these normal processes and can lead to an excessive accumulation of fluids, causing diarrhoea.

Inability of the intestines to absorb electrolytes and other solutes means there is an equivalent inability to absorb water.
Excessive retention of solutes in the lumen will result in retention of water. This is known as osmotic diarrhoea and can be due to consumption of items in food that may not be fully absorbed.
Common examples are the simple carbohydrates Mannitol and Sorbitol which are often used as sweeteners in fruit juices, chewing gum, low calorie drinks and in diabetic confectionery.

Inability to absorb some carbohydrates is a common cause of osmotic diarrhoea. Some people have a reduced ability to digest the milk sugar lactose and its accumulation causes retention of water which results in diarrhoea.

Inability to digest the protein gluten may cause damage to the absorptive lining of the intestine, and causes diarrhoea.

Osmotic diarrhoea usually stops when the offending substance is removed from the system and by fasting.

The process of digestion requires the secretion of large volumes of digestive juices and water into the intestinal lumen to facilitate digestion, lubrication and movement of the contents further down the gastrointestinal tract for further processing.
Most of the water is reabsorbed before the contents reach the large intestine where more is reabsorbed.

When secretion of water into the lumen exceeds the absorptive capacity of the intestines, Secretory Diarrhoea occurs.
Uncontrolled secretions of water can take place when the lining of the intestines is exposed to certain toxins.
Cholera toxin is known to interfere with the Secretory mechanisms and is responsible for the death of many millions of people throughout the world.
Exposure to toxins from other types of bacteria (E. Coli ) can lead to massive Secretory diarrhoea that may be lethal .

Other agents that can increase secretion by interfering with the underlying mechanism include some laxatives, hormones secreted by some tumours, medications prescribed for the treatment of asthma, depression and heart disease.

Some heavy metals such as arsenic, organic toxins such as insecticides, chemicals derived from plants such as caffeine and toxins from mushrooms (mycotoxins) can all disrupt the Secretory mechanisms of the intestines to cause Secretory diarrhoea.
Fasting does not usually help to resolve this type of diarrhoea.

The protective barrier of the gastrointestinal tract is made up of a layer of cells that make up the epithelium.
Various other mechanisms come into play in order to protect the epithelium from insult and injury by exposure to various substances present in the food content. However, this barrier can be breached and the function of the epithelium disrupted by parasites and their toxins.
Infection by Bacterial, viral and other microbial pathogens are a common cause of diarrhoea.

Invasion and destruction of the epithelium disrupts its absorptive capacity and may cause exudation of blood and serum into the lumen of the intestines.

Inflammation of the lining of the protective barrier results in damage to the mucous membranes. Accumulation of water, serum, blood and mucus results in this type diarrhoea, which is termed inflammatory and infectious diarrhoea.
The offending agents enter our body via the ingestion of contaminated food and drink.

Common pathogens associated with this type of diarrhoea include :
1. Bacteria: including Salmonella, campylobacter, E. Coli, shigela, clostridium dificile
2.Viruses: rotavirus, coronavirus, norovirus, adenovirus, calicivirus, enterovirus
3. Protozoa : coccidian species, cryptosporidium-commonly found on household pets, Giardia lamblia, entamoeba histolytica

 

 

How to heal and prevent Bowel disorders

Diet is not about what you should NOT eat, it’s about what you should include in the diet that matters.
As long as your diet includes the correct balance of plant foods containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch your colon will produce the perfectly formed stool. The important next step is to evacuate this stool without straining so that the body does not suffer from the pressures created each time the bowel is emptied.

In order to heal and prevent bowel disorders you need to make lifestyle changes that last the rest of your life time.

1. Include more fluids and plant food containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet so that the perfectly formed stool will be made in the colon and beneficial bacteria will flourish and eliminate disease causing bacteria and fungi.

2. Evacuate the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture to eliminate the need to strain during bowel movements.
It is not possible or safe to squat on the modern raised toilet seat installed in all western homes and it is impossible to squat for any length of time if you have not done this from childhood onwards. This makes the use of any raised platforms impossible to adapt to.

The SquattLooStool is designed to allow you to adopt the squat posture while seated comfortably on your raised toilet seat.
The single best and easiest lifestyle change you will ever make, leading to a healthier body.