Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces, usually indicating gastrointestinal distress or disorder. Commonly known as loose motions, it is the frequent passage of loose or watery unformed stools.
The Four types of diarrhea are: acute diarrhea, persistent diarrhea, and dysentery :-
· Acute Watery Diarrhoea (including cholera) which lasts several hours or days:- the main danger is dehydration; weight loss also occurs if feeding is not continued.
· Acute Bloody Diarrhoea (also called dysentery):-the main dangers are intestinal damage, sepsis and malnutrition; other complications, including dehydration, may also occur.
· Persistent Diarrhoea (which lasts 14 days or longer):- the main danger is malnutrition and serious non-intestinal infection; dehydration may also occur.
· Diarrhoea with severe malnutrition (marasmus or kwashiorkor):-the main dangers are: severe systemic infection, dehydration, heart failure and vitamin and mineral deficiency.