Diarrhea

Aw, poo! Is diarrhea getting you down? Well, seeing as I’ve mentioned diarrhea a few times, I thought it was about time that I explored the topic. So let’s find out what diarrhea is and why we get it. You may be surprised to find out just how great diarrhea can be, even though it’s definitely not pleasant in the moment.

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is runny or watery bowel movements (poo), where there is the characteristic loss in the form of the stool.

What causes diarrhea?

Diarrhea is usually an immune response indicating that you are suffering a gastrointestinal infection that has been caused by an endoparasite. In other words, diarrhea is the symptom of an infection in your gastrointestinal tract.

These infections are usually highly contagious as it can be spread via dirty hands contaminating food or water. These hands could have been changing a diaper or a pet’s fecal matter or simply cleaning the toilet but not washed properly (c’mon guys, just wash your hands!).  Kids usually get diarrhea frequently due to their tendency of putting their fingers into their mouths.

When we suffer from gastrointestinal infections, our bodies want to excrete the ingested endoparasite that is causing the infection out as quickly as possible. In order to do this, the muscles in your digestive tract contract at a faster rate than usual. This can cause a sharp pain in your abdomen.

These fast contractions also prevents your intestines from absorbing water from your waste; this means that the water in your intestinal tract leaves the body with your fecal matter instead of being retained in your body. This is why you get dehydrated when you have diarrhea, which is why you need to drink a lot of water and electrolyte-containing drinks (as you lose electrolytes and nutrients with your stool too).

Final thoughts

Okay, so basically diarrhea is great in that it helps us recover from an infection faster by excreting the endoparasites once it’s been detected by our immune system.

So while it’s a pain to deal with, it really teaches us the importance of hygiene. If we wash our hands properly and sanitize our hands and other items, there will be less of a risk of getting an infection. However, there are some endoparasites that won’t be phased by this, so diarrhea will be inevitable. The best thing you can do to recover from this infection is to stay hydrated. Your immune system is taking care of you, don’t you fret.

Without diarrhea, your body could become the new home to awful endoparasites. So just remember, it’s for the greater good.

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Acne – Types

Last we briefly discussed what causes acne. But there are several types of acne, so today we’re going to look at what some of the different types of acne are and what causes them specifically. Prepare for a lot of terminology, folks. Lots and lots of it.

Blackheads (aka Open Comedones)

When you pore is partially clogged by dead skin cells, this prevents sebum from being released (remember, sebum is the oily stuff usually released from the sebaceous glands and leaves the body through your pores). The sebum then accumulates beneath the epidermis. When sebum is partially released and is exposed to the air, it hardens and turns black  (due to oxidation, for all you science kids).

This type of acne isn’t inflammatory and are often referred to as grade I acne.

Whiteheads (aka Closed Comedones)

These are also non-inflammatory, grade I acne, where there is no way for the sebum or for the bacteria to exit through the pore. This bump in the skin is usually caused by the accumulation of bacteria and sebum due to a closed or narrow pore.

Pimples (Papules)

This type of acne is a grade II inflammatory (red) acne. These develop from whiteheads; when the whitehead becomes really swollen with the mixture of bacteria and sebum, it ruptures (but similar to a leak, not like a balloon popping). This rupture causes the mixture to be released into the dermis. The bacterial contamination leads to your immune response team swooping in and trying to repair the damage while trying to rid the system of the bacterial cells. This immune response leads to the inflammation that we see when get pimples.

Zits (Pustules)

Zits are pretty much a continuation of pimples, where the immune response to also leads to the formation of pus. This pus will then make it’s way back up to the epidermis, which forms a zit. Zits are also considered Grade II acne.

These four are the most common types of acne. There are more severe forms of acne, like nodules (Grade III) and cysts (Grade IV),that are formed by a deep rupture (POP!) of any of the acne types listed above. This rupture causes that mixture of bacterial cells and sebum  to affect more cells in the dermis than in pastules and papules, causing a more severe immune response; this means more swelling and more inflammation (ouchy!)

Next week, we’ll talk about how to treat these bad boys before they become nodules or cysts!

If you have anything you’d like to learn about, hit me up in the comments and I’ll try my best to educate myself and teach you about it!

AcneHubs.com. 2013. Types of Acne. AcneHubs.com. <acnehubs.com/types-of-acne/>. April 04, 2013.

Seeley, R.R., Stevens, T.D., and Tate, P. 2008. Anatomy and Physiology (8th ed.). pp. 166. New York: McGraw-Hill.