It is defined as increased stool frequency and loose or watery stools.
It is divided into 2 categories
1. Acute diarrhoea:
- It is usually common due to feco-oral transmission of bacteria and their toxins, viruses, parasite like intestinal worms and is spread mostly by contaminated food and water
- Acute diarrhea is an attack of sudden onset which usually lasts 3 to 7 days but may last up to 10 to 14 days
2. Chronic diarrhoea:
- It may be due to diseases of colon or small bowel or malabsorption or malnutrition. It is usually neither severe nor prolonged except in immune deficient patient such as those with severe mal-nutrition or AIDS
- Other factors affecting diarrhea is poverty, prematurity, reduced gastric acidity, immuno deficiency, lack of personal and domestic hygiene and incorrect feeding practices
In several cases death may occur due to severity of dehydration
Dehydration is divided into 3 grades
1. Mild Dehydration: Patient becomes thirsty, dryness of skin and restless
2. Moderate dehydration: Patients become restless, intense thirst, cramps in legs, sunken eyes, and loss of skin elasticity
3. Severe Dehydration: Is state of collapse sunken eye, scaphoid abdomen, subnormal temperature, unrecordable blood pressure, loss of skin elasticity, decreased urine output or patient may die in severe case or non treated case.