Diarrhea is the frequent passage of loose and watery stools with or without abdominal pressure and cramps. It is commonly referred to as gas or flatulence. It is one of the most common illnesses in all age groups as the main cause of lost days of work or school.
People of all age groups can suffer from the condition, and the average adult has one episode of acute diarrhea per year. The main cause of severe illness is the loss of fluids and electrolytes. The fluid passes out of the body before it is absorbed by the intestines. When it is unable to drink fluids fast enough to compensate for the water loss due to which diarrhea is impaired, this results in dehydration.
Diarrhea is generally divided into two types:
Acute diarrhea is a condition that lasts from a few days up to a week.
Chronic diarrhea can be defined in several ways, but it usually lasts for more than three weeks.
There’s another type which is known as traveler’sdiarrhea. It happens when there is diarrhea after being exposed to bacteria or parasites while on vacation in a developing nation.
What is the Ayurvedic view of Diarrhea?
In Ayurveda, diarrhea is referred to as “Atisara”. As per the doshas, Atisara has been classified into 6 types– vataj, pittaj, kaphaj, sannipatik, bhayaj, and shokaj types.
Vatajatisara is mainly caused by Vatadosha and is marked by painful loose stools with gases and sounds. In Pittajatisara there is a vitiation of pitta dosha and passing of stools with a burning sensation and offensive odor. Stool in kaphajatisara is sticky, oily, and whitish with a foul odor. Sannipatikatisara is caused due to the vitiation of three doshas and have mixed characteristics. Bhayaj and Shokajatisara is caused due to fear as well as grief.
What are the causes of diarrhea?
The main causes of diarrhea include viral and bacterial infections, intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome [IBS]), reactions to medications, and food intolerance.
Other causes include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Allergies to certain foods
- Diabetes mellitus
- Other diseases of the intestines (such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Eating foods that upset the digestive system
- Bacterial infections (the cause of most types of food poisoning) or other organisms
- Laxative abuse is also the reason by taking too many laxatives or taking them too frequently
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Radiation and chemotherapy
- Running (It is “runner’s diarrhea” whose reasons aren’t clear.)
- Surgery related to digestive system
- Trouble in the absorption of certain nutrients also called “malabsorption”
- Diarrhea may also follow constipation, especially for those who have irritable bowel syndrome.
Dysentery is a type of diarrhea that contains blood, pus, or mucus.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
The main symptom of diarrhea is watery stools. This usually happens due to a virus that gets into your gut. The passage of red-coloredstool suggests intestinal bleeding and could be a sign of a more severe infection. The passage of thick and tarry black stools suggests significant intestinal bleeding. The stools appear green in color because it passes through the intestines faster than the usual.
Some of the people call it “intestinal flu” or “stomach flu.”
Other symptoms are-
- Stomach cramps
- Fever and chills
- Abdominal Bloating
- The urgency of bowel movements
- dry mucous membranes
- increased heart rate
- a headache
- increased thirst
- Decreased urination
- dry mouth
- sunken eyes
How to diagnose diarrhea?
Some laboratory tests to examine urine and blood samples.
Other tests that determine the cause of diarrhea and other related conditions which includes:
- Stool culture to check for bacteria, parasites, or signs of disease
- Colonoscopy to check the entire colon
- Sigmoidoscopy to check the rectum and lower colon
- A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to determine an intestinal disease if you have severe or chronic diarrhea.
- Blood tests to look for certain diseases or disorders
- Stool tests to check for bacteria or parasites
What is the Panchakarma Treatment for Diarrhea?
There are no panchakarma treatments for diarrhea patients because the patient is so weak due to dehydration. The medicines that are mentioned below are very effective in treating diarrhea.
Chandigarh Ayurved Centre is providing a wonderful kit named Diarrhea Go Kit which is useful in treating acute as well as chronic bacteria. This kit comprises of- Detox standard powder, sheetdhara syrup, kutajGhanVati, and liver care syrup. These ingredients balance the three doshas.
1. Detox Standard Powder:
Detox standard powder comprises of a combination of natural and pure herbo-mineral ingredients such as- Giloysatav, shankhbhasam, Sudhyog tab, Parwalpishti, shwetparpati, Tal sindoor, Motipishti, Sutshekharras, Akikpishti&Jaharmohrapishti. The pishti present in it are useful in the treatment of diarrhea problems. It also treats the symptoms associated with diarrhea like general weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, cramps, etc.
Recommended Dosage: Take 1 sachet twice a day with normal water.
2. Sheetdhara Syrup:
Sheet dhara Syrup is a natural antacid that neutralizes the stomach content and relieves heartburn, indigestion, or an upset stomach. This formulation is helpful in other health conditions like gastritis, abdominal bloating, cramps, etc. It also balances the pitta dosha and relieves burning sensation in the body.
Recommended Dosage: Take half teaspoon twice a day with four teaspoons of water on an empty stomach.
Kutaj GhanVati is a classical herbal formulation that is very effective in curing acute as well as chronic diarrhea, intestinal infection, etc. KutajGhanVati contains ingredients like Kutaj (Holarrhenaantidysenterica), Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum) that manage the symptoms like loose stools, general weakness, fatigue, cramps, etc. These herbs also show antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Recommended Dosage: Take two tablets twice a day before a meal with water.
4. Liver care syrup:
Liver Care syrup balances the Pitta dosha and enhances the regeneration of liver cells and promotes liver functioning. It helps in the treatment of fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, Hepatitis, and obstructive Jaundice. The herbs and minerals present in it are Bhumi amla( Phyllanthusniruri), Kutaki (Picrorhizakurroa), Kalmegh (Andrographispaniculata), Yavakshar( Hordeumvulgare), Giloy(TinosporaCordifolia), MuktaShuktapishti, ImliKshar( Tamarindusindica), etc. Being an Antioxidant, it eliminates the amadosha and also relieves inflammation. This formulation also shows hepato-protective, properties. Regular use of this syrup treats the symptoms related with diarrhea.
Recommended Dosage: Take 2 teaspoonful twice daily.