weanling diarrhea


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Related to weanling diarrhea: Diaria

diarrhea

 [di″ah-re´ah]
rapid movement of fecal matter through the intestines resulting in poor absorption of water, nutritive elements, and electrolytes and producing abnormally frequent evacuation of watery stools. adj., adj diarrhe´ic, diarrhe´al.

Diarrhea is a nursing diagnosis accepted by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, who defined it as “the state in which an individual experiences a change in normal bowel habits characterized by the frequent passage of loose, unformed stools.” It can be caused by intestinal mucosal defects produced by infectious or chemical agents, toxins, which cause hypersecretion with no mucosal damage, osmotic agents, functional loss of intestinal segments, or emotional disorders which bring about increased peristalsis and increased secretion of mucus in the colon (psychogenic diarrhea or irritable colon); chronic recurrent diarrhea is a major symptom of crohn's disease and of ulcerative colitis. Concentrated tube feedings can cause diarrhea if adequate water is not given after each feeding.

In all types of diarrhea there is rapid evacuation of water and electrolytes resulting in a loss of these essential substances. Potassium supply especially is depleted by diarrhea, thus producing acidosis as well as deficient fluid volume.
Symptoms. Diarrhea is accompanied by frequent and liquid bowel movements, abdominal cramps, and general weakness. The stools often contain mucus and may be blood streaked. In chronic diarrhea the patient is likely to be anemic and suffering from malnutrition.
Treatment. Mild cases of diarrhea of short duration can be treated conservatively with a bland diet, increased intake of liquids, and the administration of kaolin-pectin compounds to relieve the symptoms. Medicines are sometimes used to decrease peristalsis and relieve cramps. More severe and chronic cases can be symptomatic of a wide variety of disorders including glandular disturbances, deficiency diseases, allergies, and tumors of the intestinal tract. Since diarrhea is a symptom rather than a disease, extensive diagnostic procedures and laboratory tests may be necessary to determine the underlying cause. In the meantime symptomatic treatment must be instituted to relieve the dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and disturbances of acid-base balance produced by the loss of water, food elements, and electrolytes in the stools. Liquids and semisolids may be given orally at frequent intervals if they can be tolerated. In cases in which vomiting accompanies the diarrhea or the stools occur with serious frequency, fluids may be given intravenously.
weanling diarrhea a collection of diseases in the infant, described as a syndrome, associated with weaning from the breast. It is attributed to the introduction of other food and loss of the protective properties of breast milk.

weanling diarrhea

Severe gastroenteritis that sometimes occurs in infants who recently have been weaned.
See also: diarrhea