In this picture, the causative factors for diarrhoea are shown. Common physiological factors include:
- Over-stimulation of the parasympathetic system
- Inhibition of the sympathetic system
- Presence of bacteria or viruses
- Over-secretion of water and electrolytes secondary to gastrointestinal irritation
These physiological effects can arise from co-morbid disease states and/or concomitant drug use. However, since the most common aetiologies are self-limiting, drug therapy is rarely indicated. In severe cases or in cases involving paediatric or elderly patients, oral rehydration therapy should be initiated.
Extra info: Slowing the GI emptying in a bowel suffering from an infectious disease may do more harm than good. Potassium is lost during periods of diarrhoea.