Diarrhea refers to
loose stools and frequent defecation. The symptoms which may accompany
diarrhea are: abdominal pain, cramps and distension, fever, thirst,
There are many possible
causes of diarrhea but the most common involve the consumption of food
that has spoiled (food poisoning), inflammatory bowel disease, caffeine,
stress, consumption of contaminated water, indigestion, food allergies,
bacterial, viral or other infection, and cancer.
Although mild diarrhea
is not considered serious, dehydration is a consequence of this ailment
and body fluids should be continually replenished.
Chinese Medicine, the causes of diarrhea include infections due to
external pathogens, injury to the internal organs due to improper diet,
and a deficiency or dysfunction of one or more of the internal organs.
The most common
internal cause is spleen deficiency. The spleen's inability to adequately
and properly transport moisture and transform food into refined essence
leads to diarrhea. Failure to transport moisture can lead to dampness,
which will further injure the spleen and thereby aggravate the deficiency.
In general, acute
diarrhea is primarily due to excess dampness, while spleen deficiency
is the cause of chronic diarrhea.