July 12, 2021

يوم جديد - الإسهال مع د. حنينا أبي نادر طب عام ووقاية

Diarrhea is characterized by abnormally loose or watery stools. It can be acute (less than 2 weeks duration), or chronic (more than 4 weeks).


Acute cases of diarrhea are mostly infectious. However, medications, toxic ingestion (organophosphate), or ischemia are among other causes.

Chronic cases of diarrhea can be inflammatory, or due to autoimmune diseases.

On the other hand, traveler’s diarrhea is caused by the bacteria E. coli (Escherichia coli), or the parasite Giardia. 
Other causes of diarrhea are found in our food; such as chicken and eggs which contain the salmonella bacteria, fried rice and reheated food can cause food poisoning through bacillus cereus. Uncooked food as well can infect us with listeria.


One should note that osmotic diarrhea (not secretory) usually ceases with fasting. Aphthous ulcers might be related to Crohn’s disease, and joint pain with inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis.

Usually, treatment mostly aims to target the causes of the diarrhea. Patient taking too much magnesium supplements are advised to stop. Physical examination of the patient in the clinic is vital, and keeping the patient well hydrated, and stable are important keys especially in elderly. 

It is of extreme importance to ask the patients for any additional serious symptoms they might be having such as profuse diarrhea, blood in the stool, high grade fever or severe abdominal pain. These patients will require further investigation and additional testing since steatorrhea (fat in the stools) can be from the pancreas. Thyroid examination is also needed, and any skin manifestation can be due to an underlying cause in the adrenal glands.

For more information make sure to contact Dr. Hanina Abi Nader on 03/944331 or by email: [email protected]