last updated 18-10-2021



In this picture, the causative factors for diarrhoea are shown. Common physiological factors include:

  1. Over-stimulation of the parasympathetic system
  2. Inhibition of the sympathetic system
  3. Presence of bacteria or viruses
  4. 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.