Chronic diarrhoea ~ signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment


Diarrhoea is labelled chronic by a doctor, when it occurs at least three or more times daily for more than four weeks! That’s a long time to suffer believe me!
What are the causes chronic diarrhoea?
Chronic diarrhoea can often be a result of or caused by a symptom of an illness, infection, or another condition; known or unknown to the sufferer. Increasingly the number of people who have a reaction to food having difficulty or being unable to digest particular foods: lactose the sugar found in dairy products, lactase the protein found in dairy products, fats, caffeine, alcohol, acid, yeast, chemicals and much more. Another cause may be from infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites found in food or travelling abroad where we are not used to theses living organisms. I have found medicines such as laxatives and antibiotics cause chronic diarrhoea and apparently; cancer treatments, heart medicines, minerals; magnesium, can cause chronic diarrhoea in some people. In addition to this, medical conditions that affect the stomach or intestines: inflammatory bowel disease; IBS; Thyroid, pancreatic or liver disorders; cancers can also cause chronic diarrhoea; autoimmune diseases for example, coeliac or crohn’s disease, often cause periods of chronic diarrhoea. Having any surgery or procedures whether medical or cosmetic: including any invasive stomach or bowel surgery, especially where damage to muscles which control bowel movements is caused. I believe having Caesarean sections cause this, but the doctors and consultants cannot comment until more research is done to confirm. Which reminds me that, Medicine is a relatively new Science

The signs and symptoms of chronic diarrhoea are severe abdominal pain with an overwhelmingly urgent need to have a bowel movement or even worse a loss of bowel control. Additionally, there may be a small amount of blood, mucus, or pus in your bowel movement which you need to notify your doctor about when considering the cause of the chronic diarrhoea. Due to going to the toilet three or more times a day for four weeks it is inevitable that some weight loss will occur (this varies in sufferers). Also due to the increase in frequent rapid bowel movements then some anal discomfort is likely to be caused by sores with irritation and inflammation – zinc and castor oil cream or sudocrem will alleviate this somewhat or visit a pharmacist who will advise.

Treatment depends on what the condition is which is causing your chronic diarrhoea.

Treatments:

Oral rehydration therapy
You must drink more liquids to replace body fluids lost through diarrhoea to prevent dehydration.
You may be advised of your need to drink an Oral Rehydration Solution, (ORS) especially babies, young children, pregnant women or the elderly. As the Oral Rehydration Solution has the exact amounts of sugar, salt, and minerals in water which are needed to replace body fluids.

Anti-diarrhoeal medicine
This is given as it decreases the frequency and amount of diarrhoea you are having by coating the intestine (bowel) so making the stool less watery or working by slowing down how fast the intestine is moving.

Discuss with your practitioner if one medicine does not work you may require one which slows down the bowel movements, peppermint tea also aids slowing bowel movement which I prefer over drugs.


Chronic diarrhoea is diagnosed by a general practitioner (doctor) or nurse initially they will examine you, ask about your symptoms; make sure you say if have noticed any: unusual colour or smell to your bowel movements; blood, mucus, or oil droplets in your bowel movement, after eating certain foods; if you have travelled abroad recently; if who you live with or are close to has had the same symptoms.
It is therefore routine to take tests to eliminate or show certain causes of your symptoms:

Blood sample is sent to a laboratory testing that major internal organs, e.g. kidneys, are working correctly.

Sample of your bowel movement is sent to a laboratory to aid finding the possible cause of your chronic diarrhoea.

X-ray of your abdomen to show if there is a possible cause of your chronic diarrhoea.

CT scan or CAT scan, this is an x-ray machine which uses a computer to take photographs of your abdomen, which may show the cause of your chronic diarrhoea. A dye is given before the pictures are taken to help the practitioner to see the photograph better.

N.B. The caregiver needs to know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of the colon which is the large intestine). A thin flexible tube with a small light and camera on the end is used. The procedure is normally shown on a screen for the doctor which you can watch if you wish. A biopsy and photographs may be taken to eliminate possible causes and for future reference.

Tru3 J0y
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Quinoa recipes

Quinoa seed crackers

3 tablespoons flaxseeds,
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 ounces (1/2 cup packed) cooked quinoa
2 ounces (1/2 cup, minus 1 tablespoons) quinoa flour (or, substitute 2 ounces superfine brown rice flour)
2 ounces (1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon) quinoa flakes
3 ounces (1/2 cup) potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ounces butter, softened
2 ounces olive oil
2 to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water

Method
Preparing to make the crackers Preheat the oven to 400°. Pull out a sheet tray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper.
Preparing the seeds. Put the flaxseed, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, into the food processor. Pulse it until they have broken down but not butter.
Mixing in the dry ingredients. Add the cooked quinoa, quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, guar gum, and salt to the food processor. Let it run for a couple of minutes, so everything has a chance to mix and dance, and the flours to become blended well.
Finishing the dough. Add the softened butter to the mix. Spin the food processor around. Slowly, drizzle in the oil, with the food processor running. At this point, the dough should be clumping together quite well, but not yet one big ball. If the dough feels at all too dry, add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn off the food processor.
Rolling out the dough. Put the clumps of dough onto the baking sheet. Squidge the dough together into a vague lump and carefully, gently, roll it out the approximate length and width of the baking sheet. If you desire, top the crackers with additional sesame seeds.
Baking the crackers. Bake the crackers until they are browned and firm to the touch, but not too brown or firm to the touch, about 20 minutes in our oven. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.
Transfer the cracker (which should be one big sheet, or at least several) to a cutting board. When the cracker has completely cooled, cut it into the size of cracker you want. And so the cracker becomes crackers.

Makes about 20 crackers
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Quinoa recipes

Quinoa salad

200g/7oz quinoa, cooked according to the packet instructions
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 cucumber, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
100ml/3½fl oz extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Mix together the quinoa, herbs, vegetables in a bowl; dress with olive oil and lemon juice, season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Vegetarian Spicy Quinoa pepper and bean stew

Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Pinch salt to taste
Freshly ground peppercorns
2 clove(s) garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
10 fresh diced tomatoes, without skin or a 450g tinned tomatoes
450g tin black beans
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 orange or green pepper, chopped
Sprigs of fresh herbs chopped marjoram, oregano and tthyme or 1/2 tsp of dried herbs
1 Litre of vegetable stock
1 cup of cooked quinoa
Optional extra’s:
1 small tin of sweet corn
6 mushrooms sliced
1 small courgette chopped

Method
In a large deep flat pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, stir until soft. Add, red bell pepper, cook until tender. Add the chili flakes tomatoes, herbs, black beans, and vegetable stock. Simmer, partially covered and stirring, 15 minutes. Add garlic, sweet corn, courgette, mushroom, peppers, or any other ingredients you choose, cook and cover for 3 minutes. Stir in quinoa and season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.

Serve, top with:
• fresh herbs to taste
• fresh grated Cheddar or cheese of choice

Tru3 J0y
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Look after your insides ~ stomach, intestines…

1. Eat healthily.

2. Eat regularly.

3. Eat sitting up at a table, preferably.

All too easily we spend our daily and/or working lives gulping down food between events/lessons/meetings/exercise. In addition, after returning home we then spend the evenings on our electronic devices and or/sitting in front of the TV with a takeaway or additional snacks in the evening. The problem is that by eating this way we can cause problems with our digestive system, as food does not digest properly so some people have lower stomach and abdominal cramps or indigestion (which if severe is akin to a heart attack).

4. Stop smoking.
Smoking can weaken the muscle that controls the lower end of the oesophagus (food pipe or gullet), causing heartburn.

5. Lose excess weight.
If you are overweight, your tummy fat puts pressure on your stomach this can cause heartburn.

6. Exercise regularly.

6. Do not binge drink.
Binge drinking increases acid production in your stomach which can cause heartburn, as well as making other digestive disorders worse.

7. Beat stress.
Anxiety and worry can upset the delicate balance of digestion exacerbating so worsening digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Experiences which feed thoughts on IBS and the care given to patients

IBS - eat naturally!

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is known as a syndrome

 (I don’t like that word ‘syndrome’ which means in Pathology or Psychiatry. a group of symptoms that together are characteristic of a specific disorder,disease, or the like.)
IBS is a common disorder of gastrointestinal (GI) function which affects more women than men in most Western countries ~ is this due to our produced foods which is a tributary factor of IBS? Does it affect more females than males because females see their doctor more often?

Personally I have found that around particular changes monthly in hormone levels that my sympoms of IBS are much worse as symptoms of IBS appear to be related to hormone status (e.g., menstruating, pregnant, menopausal, taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy). We are all different and as such women’s symptoms wax and wane in tune with their menstrual cycle. I believe that it is possible to explain the observed variability in IBS symptoms is that sex hormones affect GI motility and function. However, when I discussed this with one of the Gastro consultant he was of no help and another a few years later, was still researching his work in this field and would not comment.

I would like some UK research into this ever-increasing field where more people suffer. It is certainly worse for many females around the changes in hormones however for men it varies and is more likely to be only contributed to food. It is therefore extremely difficult for the average sufferer to cope with this ‘syndrome’ when few research is completed or made public to find evidence that supports a role for sex hormones in the pathophysiology and/or symptom in the presentation of IBS.

Doctors however need to discount possible causes like cancer of the ovary or bowel and do various tests to count out other possible causes of the symptoms which can be worrying whilst test results are awaited.

IBS is a disorder/syndrome where presented is abdominal pain or discomfort
as a primary symptom. It is accompanied by a change in bowel habit and abnormal stool frequency; more than 3 bowel movements per day is known as diarrohea] or 3 bowel movements per week [constipation]).

 IBS patients also commonly report:

  • hard or loose/watery stools,
  • a feeling of incomplete evacuation after bowel movement,
  • bloating and/or abdominal distension, and the passage of mucus.

Differences in presentation of symptoms have been described, including more IBS with diarrhea among

  • men and more IBS with constipation and bloating
  • among women.
  • a Iot the most common disorders seen in the primary care setting.

Many differences in presentation of symptoms have been described, including more IBS with diarrhea among men and more IBS with constipation and bloatingamong women. IBS is one of the most common disorders seen in the primary care setting. 

IBS may well coexist with other GI disorders, both functional (e.g., dyspepsia, chronic constipation) and organic (e.g., coeliac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease, many patients with IBD are diagnosed initially
with IBS. Studies show 40% to 57% of Crohn’s disease patients and one third of ulcerative colitis patients who were in remission had comorbid IBS. IBS can contribute
to symptoms of IBD, especially in quiescent
disease, if the symptoms of IBS are mistaken for an
IBD flare. This results in IBD overtreatment and IBS undertreatment.

 

 

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More care and advice needs to be given rather than handing out anti-depressants which do not ‘cure’ the symptoms or alleviate them, going back to a good natural diet of fresh foods is what helps not manufactured processed foods of any description. We need to go back to growing our own and picking fresh and then our symptoms are less. Do not eat the five a day fruit and vegetables at least limit fruit which helps and vegetables have more digestible fibre and less acid than fruits, which may add to the problems.