Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Diana to Dreadnought

Diarrhea

watery stools coli chloride

Diarrhea, abnormally frequent evacuation of watery stools. Choleraic diarrhea refers to acute diarrhea with watery stools, resembling the major symptoms of cholera. A specific type of diarrhea runs in certain families; called familial chloride diarrhea, it is characterized by severe watery diarrhea with an excess of chloride in the stools, beginning in early infancy, and marked by a distended abdomen, lethargy, and retarded growth and mental development. Parenteral diarrhea is due to infections outside the gastrointestinal tract. “Summer diarrhea” is an acute form that was formerly found in children during the intense heat of summer but now tends to occur at other times of the year as well; it may be caused by the E. coli microbe. Traveler's diarrhea occurs particularly in those visiting tropical or subtropical areas where sanitation is not optimal; it too may be due to infection with E. coli.

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