Diarrhoea can be categorised under five main headings:
Osmotic diarrhoea , which can cease on fasting, and can indicate intolerance to lactose to artificial sweeteners (eg., sorbitol which is in sugar free chewing gum);
Secretory diarrhoea, which continues during fasting, and can be a negative effect of microbial enterotoxin;
Exudative diarrhoea, indicating probable mucosal damage/inflammation (eg., ulcerative colitis);
Sensorimotor dysfunction diarrhoea, usually an indicator of irritable bowel syndrome;
Possible reasons for diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea from intestinal infection can be caused by the Giardia lamblia parasite, within contaminated water.
Enterotoxigenic E. coli or Shigella is a cause of traveller’s diarrhoea, and associated fever is a clinical sign.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be due to anxiety, called ‘psychogenic diarrhoea’.
Chronic diarrhoea can be caused by diabetes and problems with sugar regulation, and even by diabetic medicines themselves.
Diarrhoea can be caused by intolerance and inability to digest certain foods.
Liver infection can be a factor causing diarrhoea.
A deficiency in zinc can cause chronic diarrhoea.
Dehydration due to diarrhoea can disrupt kidney functioning and may cause arthritic pain in ankle joints. Loss of extra-renal potassium can cause hypokalaemia and thus adverse blood pressure levels.
To help diarrhoea frequency to subside, you should avoid eating very sweet, greasy, high fibre and milk products foods.