Diarrhea is an infectious disease that causes unrestrained liquid bowel movements, which may count up to 3 or even more times in a day. Diarrhea is a common disease, and it usually lasts only for a few days either on its own or through consuming over-the-counter medicines. Acute diarrhea occurs due to food intolerance, food allergy or bacterial infection. You may even develop a critical diarrheal condition known as Travelers’ Diarrhea. This occurs when you are frequently traveling and consume unhealthy food or water from various sources.
If you are suffering from diarrhea, which does not get better and is persistent even after 4 weeks, it is a serious condition which is known as acute diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea is majorly anything that hinders your daily curriculum of activities.
Chronic diarrhea may often lead to abdominal cramps, malnutrition, weight loss or even fever. While diarrhea may be caused due to several reasons, the main causes of chronic diarrhea have been listed below.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome is known to be the most common cause of chronic diarrhea and stays for at least 6 months. One interesting fact to notice is that the actual causes of IBS are not somewhat clear. IBS is known to be long lasting that may lead to changes in one’s lifestyle in a way which does not let them commit to their daily activities normally. IBS is often accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloating, uncontrollable bowel movements often leading to anxiety, depression or exhaustion.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Inflammatory Bowel disease is the cause of chronic diarrhea that leads to inflammation in the intestines of the patient. IBD occurs as a result of immune system working against the wellness of the body. In case of IBD, the immune system attacks the good or the friendly bacteria thus leading to inflammation.
The IBD is often accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, anemia, exhaustion or even weight loss. There are generally two types of IBD which have been listed below.
- Ulcerative Colitis: This type of IBD affects the large intestine and is known to cause ulcers and inflammation of the innermost lining of the large intestine.
- Crohn Disease: This type of IBD mainly leads to inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract and may affect any part of the tract from the mouth to the anus.
Celiac Disease: Celiac disease occurs as a result of consuming foods high in the protein, gluten as such foods are likely to hamper the small intestine. This is a rare cause of chronic diarrhea which leads to the damaging of the gut. It is difficult to spot down the kind of food that causes Celiac disease.Celiac Disease is often accompanied by symptoms such as exhaustion, insufficient growth in children, weight loss and occurrence of stinking liquid stools.
Food Intolerance: Food intolerance is also another leading cause of chronic diarrhea that occurs when our body falls short of the required enzymes for digesting the food we consume. One such typical example of food intolerance is “Lactose Intolerance,” in which the sugar contained in the milk becomes difficult to digest. Food intolerance is often accompanied by symptoms such abdominal cramps, gas, and occurrence of liquid stools that may even include mucous.
Bile acid diarrhea: Bile acid diarrhea also known as bile acid malabsorption is a disease in which bile acids do not get reabsorbed into the bloodstream but instead enter the large colon. Bile acid diarrhea is often accompanied by symptoms such as watery stools, bloating or fecal incontinence.
Medications: When we start taking certain medications such as antibiotics, dietary supplements or even undergoing chemotherapy, certain diseases may follow as a side effect. One of such side effects is chronic diarrhea that may persist a while longer than usual. Such medications are often accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain, exhaustion, and severe diarrhea. Making certain changes to your diet and lifestyle will help you in chronic diarrhea to a large extent. Some of the suggestions for improving chronic diarrhea have been included in the list below.
- Keep away from tea and coffee or even soft drinks containing soda
- Add more of fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Drink as much water you can
- Quit smoking and restrict yourself from drinking alcohol
- Eat smaller meals after short periods rather than consuming larger meals
- Exercise daily to keep yourself fit and also meditate to release any kind of stress in your life
- Reduce the consumption of dairy products in your diet
- Adapt to low residue diet