19.07.2021 – 19:16
In principle it may seem like a person will have diarrhea or constipation, but it is possible to have both at the same time. This is what is known as paradoxical diarrhea or excessive diarrhea.
Diarrhea (watery stools) is a common digestive problem that affects people at all stages of life. There are many different causes of diarrhea, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. Even so, most episodes of diarrhea last a few days and go away on their own.
Constipation, which is a strong stool that is difficult to pass, is another condition that affects everyone from children to adults. Constipation can occur for several days or be chronic (occurs over a long period of time).
What causes diarrhea?
Diarrhea has liquid stools three or more times a day. Most people know what it is like to have diarrhea that appears suddenly and lasts for several days before it heals on its own.
In many cases, diarrhea that lasts for several days is caused by an infection with a parasite, virus or bacteria. Viruses that cause diarrhea spread quickly from person to person. Stools with diarrhea after close contact (as a family member) may indicate that a virus exists.
Bacteria can also cause diarrhea, especially those that spread through food or water (foodborne illness or “food poisoning”).
Outside of viruses, parasites and bacteria, there is a spectrum of diseases and conditions that can cause diarrhea. Lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease are causes of chronic diarrhea (lasting more than a few days).
Some medications, such as antibiotics, can also cause diarrhea. This is usually cleared after the course of medicine has been completed.
What causes constipation?
A bowel movement less than two or three times a week can be constipation. In constipation, bowel movements tend to be difficult and it is also difficult and potentially painful to pass. It may involve straining or pushing to have a bowel movement.
Constipation tends to be common in children, and adults can experience it several times a year. Some of the causes of constipation include not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water and a low level of physical activity. Travel or stress also causes some people to become constipated.
In children, holding stools can lead to constipation. This can result in a cycle of painful bowel movements, which a child holds in order to avoid pain, which leads to more constipation.
Medications are also a major cause of constipation, especially in older adults. Some of the medications that can cause constipation include opioid pain medications, antihistamines, antacids and antidepressants.
Conditions that can cause constipation include IBS, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Colon cancer is also associated with constipation but is not a common cause and may have other symptoms such as blood in the stool, pain, weight loss or fatigue.
How can paradoxical diarrhea cause constipation?
When a person experiences diarrhea, it may lead to thoughts that they may have eaten a food that may have upset the stomach or had a virus that causes it. What may not immediately come to mind is that diarrhea can actually be caused by constipation.
Constipation can be transient and only last for a few days. But in some cases, it can become chronic. Failure to go to the bathroom for an extended period of time may cause fecal matter to accumulate in the digestive tract. This can result in what is called a fecal impact.
Fecal impact is when there is a large and strong mass of feces in the intestine. This is so strong and so stuck that it cannot be crossed. It can also be called affected stool, affected bowel or affected colon).
A person who has a fecal impact may find that he has watery stools but is not really moving his bowels. In fact, it may be difficult to hold the stool in the rectum and it may come out (causing bathing accidents or incontinence).
What is happening is that there is stool diluted with water after the impact of the feces and it is coming out around the strong mass of stool. This liquid stool often smells bad. This may make some people think they have diarrhea when the real problem is affected stool.
The problem is further complicated when the rectum is dilated due to the larger volume of stool. The rectum is the last section of the colon, ending in the anus. The internal anal sphincter relaxes, contributing to the stool coming out of the rectum. In addition, the colon may respond by producing more fluid. This results in an even greater volume of watery stool that cannot be contained by the rectum.
Diarrhea and / or constipation coming and going for a few days is usually not a reason to see a doctor. However, when there are any disturbing signs or symptoms such as dehydration, blood or mucus in the stool, dizziness, increased heart rate or severe abdominal pain, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Constipation that persists as long as it causes paradoxical diarrhea may need treatment. In some cases, you may need to find out why constipation is occurring so that it does not happen again. This is especially true after you have tried laxatives and lifestyle changes and the constipation persists again.