DEFINITION- Frequent excessive, fluid evacuation from the bowels, without tormina or straining, from functional or structural change in the small intestines, of a local or constitution origin.
Simple frequency of evacuation may exist while her may be no increase in the quantity of faeces, matter discharged or it may even be deficient. True diarrhoea depends upon defective absorption of the intestine, so that an excess of matter passes through them, and less is taken up for the nourishment f the body.
FORMS-The following are the chief Irritative Diarrhoea from successive stimulating or Inflammation diarrhoea; Diarrhoea lienterica, or discharges of unaltered food from arrest of the digestive and simulative functions and Summer -diarrhoea Diarrhoea lienterica, or discharge of of unaltered food form arrest of he digestive and assimilative functions; and Summer Diarrhoea a(see Enteritis).
SYMPTOMS-Nausea, flatulence, griping pain in the bowels; followed by loose motions, which may vary as regards consistency- being fluid or watery; in their odour and colour. Furred tongue, foul breath, and acrid eructations,are generally superadded. The circulation, breathing,and other functions are usually unaffected. In Summer-diarrhoea, or English Cholera , the discharge are chiefly bilious, and there are often violent pains in the abdomen, Cramps in the legs, and great prostration.
CAUSES. Excess in. the pleasure of the table.-Over repletion of the stomach may occasion irritation and diarrhoea by the mere quantity of the ailment introduced, but these results more commonly follow the mixture of various kinds of food and drink in one meal.
2. Indigestible kinds of food-Such are especially, -sour, unripe, or decaying fruit or vegetable;s badly cooked food; fatty and rich foods; various kinds of shell-fish-putrid or diseased animal good. Numerous proof shave often been furnished in. the public journals that the flesh of diseased animals is occasional solid for human food.
3. Impure Water-This is a fruitful cause of Diarrhoea. Water contained with sewage or sewage cases, or with decomposing animal matter, is almost certain to produce Diarrhoea, especially in recent visitors to a neighborhood supplied with such water.
4. Atmospheric Influences-The heat of summer, the ho days but chilly nights and morning of autumn,m are frequently exciting causes of Diarrhoea so is the application of cold to the perspiring body, or the sudden checking of perspiration. Hot weather is a frequent exciting cause of Diarrhoea, termed on this account summer of r English Cholera. Dr Farr says that Diarrhoea ‘is as constantly in English towns when the temperature rises above 60 degree as Bronchitis and Catarrh when the temperature falls below 32 degree. Probably, to the influence of the change of temperature-from the excessive heat of the day to the cool of h evening in the autumnal months-may be added that of bad drainage, and springs.
5. Mental Emotions-The depressing influences of fear or anxiety, or the violent excitement of anger are frequent exciting causes. A sudden fright, writes Sir Thomas Watson, Excites in many person the action of the bowels as certainly as, and much more quickly than, a black draught.
6. Functional or organic disease-Diarrhoea is often a symptom of other disease arising from local or constitutions cases, as in Enteric fever; and in Hectic fever and Phthisis, when it is called colliquative diarrhoea, because it appears to melt down the substance of he body cachectic Diarrhoea,a s from chronic malarious diseases; bilious Diarrhoea, from excessive flow of bile, and in hot weather or after passing a gallstone. Looseness of the bowels is a very common precursor of cholera, when that disease is epidemic.