Diarrhea is defined as urgent and loose watery bowel movements, and it is often accompanied by bloating, cramps and gas. Most people might have diarrhea a few times a year, lasting from one to three days, and then it goes away or can be treated by simple medicines at the drug store. Others may suffer from chronic diarrhea with bad digestive symptoms.
What can cause diarrhea?
- Food poisoning from bad bacteria
- Sometimes stomach flu or intestinal flu
- Eating foods that upset the digestive system
- Sensitivity to certain foods
- Celiac disease with a sensitivity to spicy or fatty foods
- Intolerance to gluten protein in wheat, rye, and barley,
- Lactose Intolerance from cow’s milk and dairy products
- Sugar substitutes like dietetic candy or chewing gum
- All kinds of medications
- Laxative abuse
- Excessive alcohol use
- Some cancers
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
How is diarrhea treated?
If you have a mild case of diarrhea, you can just let it run its course, or you can buy over-the- counter medicines. You should drink lots of fluids such as fruit juices without pulp, chicken broth without the fat, herb tea with honey, and sports drinks. You should drink cold liquids between meals instead of during meals. Most people don’t realize that cold drinks stop digestion, and that small amounts of hot herbal teas with meals helps digestion.
Small lifestyle changes may be necessary such as eliminating coffee and soda from your diet. You should increase the fiber in your diet with more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts. You can try using bulking agents like psyllium, wheat bran and corn fiber that help slow down the movement of food through the digestive tract. And very importantly, you should try to control stress in your life.
Now, getting to why diarrhea affects hemorrhoids. Because of diarrhea and the many bowel movements, the rectal area will become sore. Also, the increased use of toilet tissue and the constant rubbing will increase irritation on an existing hemorrhoid which is more likely to itch, burn, or be painful during bowel movements. When this happens, you can try warm baths and pat the area dry with a soft towel. Do not rub. You can apply comfrey ointment made to soothe and heal hemorrhoids in the rectal area.
written by Joy Seeman
© 2010 Hemorrhoid Information Center
Diarrhea. (2007, March). Retrieved June 2009, from National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov
Diarrhea. (2009, August 28). Retrieved June 2009, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org
Marks, M. J. (n.d.). Diarrhea. Retrieved June 2009, from MedicineNet.com: http://www.medicinenet.com.