Constant Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition that is quite uncomfortable, physically painful and unpleasant. It makes it close to impossible to enjoy our daily activities. This condition also damages your body by dehydrating it thus making it hard for the body to retain vital nutrients before getting expelled from your body. As a result, constant diarrhea becomes incredibly taxing both physically and emotionally and is a clear indication that something in your body is not right.

Constant diarrhea may mean you are suffering from one of many conditions as it is a symptom found in various conditions. If you have had diarrhea for over two weeks, then it is safe to call it “constant”. This means that there is a high likelihood that something other than your “upset stomach” is causing it.

Causes of Constant Diarrhea

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Condition Description. Also known as IBS, this is a disorder that affects the colon. This syndrome commonly causes bloating gas, abdominal pain, cramping, constipation and diarrhea. Despite the uncomfortable symptoms and signs, the condition does not cause permanent colon damage.
  • Treatment. The aim of IBS treatment is to reduce the symptoms. Treatment involves taking anti-diarrheal and anticholinergic medications as well as fiber supplements, avoiding carbonated foods like raw fruits and gracious beverages, reduction of stress and behavioral & alternative therapy.

2. Food Poisoning

  • Condition Description. When food has been handled or processed improperly and then you ingest it, chances are you will suffer food poisoning. This is mostly characterized by diarrhea among other symptoms. Harmful bacteria and toxins that cause food poisoning vary and so does their resulting symptoms (can be mild or even severe).
  • Treatment. The main treatment is drinking a lot of fluids, also avoid strenuous activities and get enough rest, avoid spicy foods and dairy products for some days, you should also avoid alcohol. Adults can take drinks like Powerade and Gatorade diluted with some water.

3. Malabsorption

  • Condition Description. Malabsorption is a condition whereby your body is unable to absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients from the intestinal tract to the bloodstream. Malabsorption symptoms include abdominal discomfort (vague), gas, weakness & bloating, constant diarrhea and stool with foul-smell.
  • Treatment. Include complex carbohydrates in your diet, eat lots of fruits especially pineapple and fresh papaya, eat white fish thrice a week (can be steamed, baked or boiled), drink eight glasses of fluids daily, avoid wheat products and processed foods, minimize consumption of oil and fat, and avoid caffeine containing products.

4. Crohn’s Disease

  • Condition Description. This is a condition that causes inflammation of your digestive tract lining and diarrhea is one of the symptoms. The inflammation may involve different digestion tract parts for different people. The inflammation also spreads deep into the affected bowel tissue layers.
  • Treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Sulfasalazine, Corticosteroids and mesalamine can help relieve the symptom. You should limit your intake of dairy products because the body may be unable to digest lactose in dairy products like milk. Eat low-fat foods in small potions. You should also drink lots of liquids and consider taking multivitamins.

5. Ulcerative Colitis

  • Condition Description. This is also an inflammatory disease affecting your bowel. It causes lasting inflammation in sections of the digestive tract. Its symptoms vary depending on inflammation severity and part of the digestive tract that is inflamed.
  • Treatment. Again anti-inflammation drugs used for Crohn’s disease can help. Treatment of ulcerative colitis is done to control the symptoms and lengthen the time in between flare-ups. Reduce stress as it triggers symptoms that cause flare-ups. Check your diet and drink a lot of fluids to reduce symptoms aggravation.

6. Other Causes

  • Intestinal Infections. Intestinal infections also cause constant diarrhea. Infections are mostly seen in people who live in developing or tropical countries. It’s also common among people who travel to these places. Intestinal infections may also develop when you eat food that has been contaminated or by drinking unpasteurized milk or contaminated water.
  • Endocrine Disorders. If your thyroid is overactive, it may lead to weight loss and chronic diarrhea. Diabetes can also cause diarrhea if the digestive supply tract is injured.
  • Food Allergies. People suffering from celiac disease have high sensitivity towards gluten which is a major wheat flour component and can cause weight loss and diarrhea.
  • Lactose Intolerance. People who are lactose intolerant get gas and diarrhea when they drink milk. This will happen hours after the lactose containing product has been ingested. Its diagnosis is made by lactose breath test
  • Liver Disease and Gallbladder Disease. Liver disease, chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis may appear in your abdomen’s upper-right part, swollen abdomen, fatigue, jaundice and diarrhea. Likewise, gall bladder disease is presented by cramping pain below your right ribs after a meal. If your bile ducts have been blocked, then the diarrhea you will experience will be white.
  • Medicine Side Effects. Abusing medications like laxatives, anti-acids that contain magnesium, antibiotics, high BP treating drugs and other remedies or drugs are known to cause constant diarrhea.

Home Remedies for Constant Diarrhea

  • Stay Hydrated. Drink lots of fluids, purchase an OTC formula for electrolyte replacement like Rehydralyte, Ricelyte and Pedialyte.
  • Eat Starchy Foods. Foods like tapioca cereals or pre-cooked rice to help ease the tummy. Starchy foods help in restoring nutrients as well as comfort to your stomach.
  • Avoid Some Foods. Dairy products with exception of yoghurt should be avoided when suffering from diarrhea.
  • Drink Orange Peel Tea. This can ease digestion.
  • Have Some Chamomile Tea. It contains antispasmodic properties and is also known to treat intestinal inflammation.
  • Try Blueberry Root. They are remedy for constant diarrhea. They contain anthocyanosides which contain antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
  • Try Probiotics. Whether in supplement or food form, it restores balance of intestinal bacteria which when in excess, can create stomach bugs that cause diarrhea. Some probiotics food sources include miso soup, sauerkraut, tempeh and kefir.

When to See a Doctor

Even though most diarrhea instances clear by themselves, there are times when medical help is necessary. If you have lost a lot of salts and water and the diarrhea has persisted for more than 3 days, you have severe rectal or abdominal pain, you have bloody or black stools or you have a fever of more than 102 F (39 C), then it is best to seek medical attention.

For babies, you should see a doctor if they have not wet a diaper in 3-4hours, have a fever of over 39 C, have black/bloody stool, cry without dripping tears and with a dry mouth, constantly drowsy/sleepy/irritable, and have a sunken abdomen, cheeks and eyes.

 
 
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