Diarrhea forms and classification according to duration


Classification according to duration

  • Acute diarrhoea is common, usually lasts 1 to 2 days and usually improves on its own (Michel et al. – 1999).
    If diarrhea persists for more than 2 days, there could be a more serious problem behind it.
  • Chronic (or persistent) diarrhea occurs about once a day, lasts at least 14 days (Moore et al. – 2010) and can be the symptom of a chronic disease.
    Chronic diarrhea can persist continuously or occur irregularly.
  • Recurrent diarrhea is characterized by cyclical occurrence and can be caused by food intolerances.

Diarrhea forms

  • Osmotic diarrhea is caused by osmotically active substances, which are substances that prevent the absorption of fluids and electrolytes in the intestine.
  • Fat stool (steatorroe) is caused by poor digestion of fats. The stool has an unpleasant odor and fat droplets on the surface.
    Causes include:

    1. chronic pancreatitis,
    2. gallstones,
    3. Crohn’s disease,
    4. Giardiasis (Halliez et al. – 2013).
  • Secretory diarrhea occurs when the intestinal lining releases too much water and electrolytes into the intestine. It is often caused by infections, tumors and medications.
  • Hypermotile diarrhea is caused by an increase in bowel movements; because of the shorter residence time of the stool in the intestine, the colon has less time to absorb the liquid portion of the stool. This form of diarrhoea is common in irritable bowel patients (Saha – 2014).
  • Diarrhea due to a reduced total area of the intestine that absorbs water and nutrients. Possible causes include gluten intolerance (celiac disease) and surgical removal of a colon section (Walker et al. – 1990).
  • Diarrhea due to impaired active uptake occurs when there is a malfunction in the active pumps used to absorb the electrolytes.

Color of diarrhea

Stool coloration is determined by bilirubin and the metabolic products of this substance. If bilirubin is absent or cannot be converted in time in the intestine, the stool may have an abnormal color.

Green diarrhea
There are two main causes of green stools:

  • Nutrition
  • Medication.

It can occur as a side effect of antibiotics or iron supplements.
Even if a lot of green vegetables are consumed, such as spinach, parsley or lettuce, the stool can turn green.
Digestion occurs so quickly that the biliverdin contained in bile cannot be converted into bilirubin.

White diarrhea White diarrhea
can be caused by the lack of bile in the intestine.
The reasons for this are:

  1. stones in the gallbladder,
  2. pancreatic or liver cancer,
  3. hepatitis,
  4. cirrhosis,
  5. Taking certain medications.

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