The Symptoms of Diarrhea

ACUTE: Looseness of the bowels; pain in abdomen, either colicky or continuous; purging; nausea; vomiting; coated tongue; foul breath; flatulence: eructations of gas; loss of appetite; headache; sometimes chill followed by fever.

CHRONIC: Diarrhea, alternating with constipation; discharges from the bowels thin, greenish-yellow or nearly colorless, usually containing considerable mucus; sometimes, cylindrical casts; thirst; high-colored urine; discomfort after eating; emaciation.

Intestinal catarrh, generally known as enteritis, is a very common disease, especially in warm climates and in temperate climates during the warm season. The inflammation most commonly affects the small intestine, either of the three portions of which, the duodenum, the ileum, or jejunum, may be affected separately or together. The disease is sometimes confined to the large intestine and is known as colitis, or to the lower part of the caecum, when it is called typhlitis. When it affects the rectum only it is known as proctitis. Occasionally the whole intestinal tract is affected at once.

The Causes of Diarrhea

Chiefly irritation from indigestible or improper food, as unripe fruit, stale vegetables, food which has begun to undergo decomposition, poisons, irritating medicines, etc. Among the causes may be mentioned the irritation produced by retained feces, as in chronic constipation. Mechanical injuries to the bowels, as from blows or straining, may produce intestinal catarrh. We have good reason for believing also that it is produced by "taking cold," like catarrh of the air-passages. Among other causes may be mentioned congestion of the liver, diseases of the heart and kidneys, and consumption. Sometimes severe intestinal inflammation occurs after extensive injury to the skin by burning. Malarial poisoning has been observed to be a cause of chronic intestinal catarrh. The disease is especially frequent in infants. Notwithstanding the influence of cold in producing the disease, it is much more common in hot weather and tropical climates. The catarrhal affections of different portions of the intestinal canal are indicated by characteristic symptoms, which we have not space to mention here, with the exception of those of - Typhlitis. - This is a form of the disease in which the lower part of th ecaecum, often including the appendicular vermiformis, presents a swelling low down on the right side which is accompanied by considerable pain and obstinate constipation. Usually, the swelling finally disappears, the contents being discharged into the bowels; but sometimes the wall of the intestine is perforated and the contents dis charged into the abdominal cavity, which is a fatal accident. In other cases the perforation is external, the contents being discharged through a fistulous opening.

Catarrh of the rectum, which very frequently occurs, closely resembles dysentery.

The disease is not dangerous except in infants and persons advanced in years.