Connect with us

GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology

Diarrhea: What you should know

Published

on

Diarrhea is one of the most common complaints about health. This can range from mild, temporary, to potentially life-threatening condition.

Globally, an estimated 2 billion cases of diarrheal disease occur per year, and 1.9 million children under the age of 5 years die from diarrhea, mainly in developing countries.

Diarrhea involves abnormally loose or watery stools.

Many people move stools daily but they are of normal quality. This is not for diarrhea. Similarly, babies that are breastfed sometimes go over loose, pasty stools. This is perfectly normal. It’s not diarrhea.

Fast facts on diarrhea

Here are some of the key points on diarrhea. The body of this article includes more specifics and supporting information.

  • Most cases of diarrhea are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause chronic diarrhea
  • Antidiarrheal medications can reduce diarrheal output and zinc supplement is effective in children
  • Some nutritional and probiotic interventions may help prevent diarrhea

Causes

Bottle water
Correcting dehydration is the priority of diarrhea treatment.

Most diarrhoea cases are caused by a gastrointestinal tract infection. The causative microbes for this infection include:

  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • parasitic organisms

In the United States, the most commonly identified causes of acute diarrhea are the Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, and Escherichia coli bacteria that produce shiga toxin.

Some cases of chronic diarrhea are called “functional,” because it is impossible to find a clear cause. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most frequent cause of functional diarrhea in the developed world.

IBS is symptom complex. Abdominal pain cramps and altered bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation, or both.

A further cause of chronic diarrhea is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is a term used either to describe ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In both cases, blood also lies in the stool.

Other major causes of chronic diarrhea include:

  • Microscopic colitis: This is a persistent diarrhea that usually affects older adults, often during the night.
  • Malabsorptive and maldigestive diarrhea: The first is caused by impaired nutrient absorption, the second by impaired digestive function. Celiac disease is one example.
  • Chronic infections: A history of travel or antibiotic use can be clues to chronic diarrhea. Various bacteria and parasites can be the cause.
  • Drug-induced diarrhea: Laxatives and other drugs, including antibiotics, can trigger diarrhea.
  • Endocrine causes: Sometimes hormonal factors cause diarrhea, for example, in the case of Addison disease and carcinoid tumors.
  • Cancer causes: Neoplastic diarrhea is associated with a number of gut cancers.

Treatment

Mild cases of acute diarrhea may resolve untreated. Persistent or chronic diarrhea will be diagnosed and any underlying causes, in addition to the diarrhea symptoms, will be handled.

Dehydration

For all cases of diarrhea, rehydration is key:

  • Fluids can be replaced by simply drinking more fluids, or they can be received intravenously in severe cases. Children and older people are more vulnerable to dehydration.
  • Oral rehydration solution or salts (ORS) refers to water that contains salt and glucose. It is absorbed by the small intestine to replace the water and electrolytes lost in the stool. In developing countries, ORS costs just a few cents. The World Health Organization (WHO) says ORS can safely and effectively treat over 90 percent of non-severe diarrhea cases.
  • Oral rehydration products, such as Oralyte and Rehydralyte, are available commercially. Zinc supplementation may reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea in children.

Antidiarrheal medication

Over-the-counter (OTC) antidiarrheal medicines are also available:

  • Loperamide, or Imodium, is an antimotility drug that reduces stool passage. Loperamide and Imodium are both available to purchase over-the-counter or online.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate, for example, Pepto-Bismol, reduces diarrheal stool output in adults and children. It can also be used to prevent traveler’s diarrhea.

There is some concern that antidiarrheal medicines could prolong bacterial infection by reducing pathogens removal via stools.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used only to treat diarrhea that is caused by a bacterial infection. If the cause is a certain drug, it could be possible to switch to another medicine.

Diet

Nutritionists from Stanford Health Care offer some nutritional tips for diarrhea:

  • Sip on clear, still liquids such as fruit juice without added sugar.
  • After each loose stool, replace lost fluids with at least one cup of liquid.
  • Do most of the drinking between, not during meals.
  • Consume high-potassium foods and liquids, such as diluted fruit juices, potatoes without the skin, and bananas.
  • Consume high-sodium foods and liquids, such as broths, soups, sports drinks, and salted crackers.

Other advice from the nutritionists is to:

  • eat foods high in soluble fiber, such as banana, oatmeal and rice, as these help thicken the stool
  • limit foods that may make diarrhea worse, such as creamy, fried, and sugary foods

Foods and drinks that might make the diarrhea worse include:

  • sugar-free gum, mints, sweet cherries, and prunes
  • caffeinated drinks and medication
  • fructose in high amounts, from fruit juices, grapes, honey, dates, nuts, figs, soft drinks, and prunes
  • lactose in dairy products
  • magnesium
  • olestra, or Olean, a fat substitute

Probiotics

Mixed evidence exists as to the role of probiotics in diarrhea. They can help prevent diarrhea for travelers. There is evidence in children that they could reduce diarrheal disease by 1 day.

The use of probiotics that minimize antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as may Clostridium difficile-related diarrhea, though the evidence is mixed.

People should seek advice from their doctor, since there are many strains. Probiotics focused on Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii are the strain most studied for antibiotic-associated diarrhoa.

In a trial published in The Lancet, probiotics were investigated for helping with Clostridium difficile and antibiotic diarrheas. They found no evidence that bacteria’s multi-strain preparation was effective in preventing these conditions, calling for a better understanding of the antibiotic-associated diarrhea growth.

Probiotics are sold in capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders.

Symptoms

Symptoms of diarrhea can include bloating, thirst, and weight loss.
Symptoms of diarrhea can include bloating, thirst, and weight loss.

Diarrhea refers to watery stools, but it may be accompanied by other symptoms.

These include:

  • stomach pain
  • abdominal cramps
  • bloating
  • thirst
  • weight loss
  • fever

Diarrhea is a symptom of other conditions, some of which can be serious.

Other possible symptoms are:

  • blood or pus in the stools
  • persistent vomiting
  • dehydration

If these accompany diarrhea, or if the diarrhea is chronic, it may indicate a more serious illness.

Complications

Two potentially serious complications of diarrhea are:

  • dehydration, with acute or chronic diarrhea
  • malabsorption, with chronic diarrhea

Diarrhea can also be a symptom of a vast array of chronic underlying conditions. Treatment of these disorders must be treated to avoid further complications.

Tests and diagnosis

Parasites or their eggs can be seen under a microscope.
Parasites or their eggs can be seen under a microscope.

The doctor will inquire about the symptoms and any current medications, previous history of medicine and other medical conditions.

They will also ask:

  • when the problem started
  • how frequent the stools are
  • whether blood is present in the stool
  • whether there has been vomiting
  • whether the stools are watery, mucus- or pus-filled, and how much stool there is

The health care provider will also look for signs of dehydration.

Severe dehydration can be fatal unless urgent treatment is given with rehydration therapy.

Tests for diarrhea

Most diarrhea cases resolve without treatment and sometimes a doctor will be able to diagnose the problem without tests.

However, a stool test may be needed in more serious cases, especially where the patient is very young or old.

Additional testing may also be recommended for patient:

  • has signs of fever or dehydration
  • has stools with blood or pus
  • has severe pain
  • has low blood pressure
  • has a weakened immune system
  • has recently traveled to places outside Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand
  • has recently received antibiotics or been in hospital
  • has diarrhea persisting for more than 1 week

If an patient has chronic or recurrent diarrhea, the doctor will order tests based on the possible underlying cause.

These may include the following investigations:

  • Full blood count: Anemia or a raised platelet count will suggest inflammation.
  • Liver function tests: This will include testing albumin levels.
  • Tests for malabsorption: These will check the absorption of calcium, vitamin B-12, and folate. They will also assess iron status and thyroid function.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP): Raised levels may indicate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Testing for antibodies: This may detect celiac disease.

When to see a doctor

Diarrhea sometimes recovers without medical specialist care, but it is sometimes important to seek the aid of a doctor.

Children under the age of 1 should see a doctor if they have had 6 diarrhoea bouts or 3 vomiting bouts within 24 hours.

Children over 1 year should see a doctor if they have had 6 or more episodes of diarrhea in 24 hours, or if there is severe diarrhea and vomiting.

In the following cases it’s important to seek medical help:

  • persistent vomiting
  • persistent diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • significant weight loss
  • pus in the stool
  • blood in the stool, which may turn the stool black

Anyone who has diarrhea following surgery, after spending time in hospital, or after using antibiotics should seek medical assistance.

Adults whose diarrhea persistently disturbs their sleep may be able to get help to solve this problem.

Prevention

Dirty prevention may be more difficult in developing countries, due to dirty water and poor sanitation.

The following can help prevent diarrhea:

  • clean and safe drinking water
  • good sanitation systems, for example, waste water and sewage
  • good hygiene practices, including handwashing with soap after defecation, after cleaning a child who has defecated, after disposing of a child’s stool, before preparing food, and before eating
  • breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life
  • education on the spread of infection

There is evidence that public health measures to promote hand-washing can reduce diarrhea levels by about one-third.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

one × three =

Colorectal Cancer

Descending colon: What you need to know

Published

on

The descending colon is a part of the large intestine. The colon’s left side is the one that descends. It is in charge of keeping the leftovers of digested food until they are eliminated through the rest of the colon and rectum.

The large intestine is involved in nutrient absorption. It also prepares the body’s waste products for removal.

The colon is the section of the large intestine that is the longest. Water and salt are absorbed, and liquid waste is solidified into stool. The ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colons are the four primary parts.

Ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease, and colorectal cancer are just a few of the disorders that can impact the function of this section of the digestive tract.

We’ll look at the structure of the descending colon, as well as its function and the disorders that can affect it, in this article.

What is it?

Descending colon

The colon is the largest and longest part of the large intestine, and it is divided into four sections:

  • the sigmoid colon
  • the ascending colon
  • the descending colon
  • the transverse colon

The big intestine is a component of the gastrointestinal tract that connects to the small intestine on one end and the anus on the other.

The descending colon connects the transverse colon to the sigmoid colon and is the third primary portion. It begins from the splenic flexure, or bend, and finishes at the sigmoid colon’s junction. It’s called a retroperitoneal organ because it’s located behind the peritoneum. The peritoneum is the tissue that covers most of the abdominal organs and borders the abdominal wall.

The descending colon measures 10–15 cm in length. It’s in the abdomen’s left lumbar area. This area is located in the middle of the abdomen to the left. In this area, the descending colon runs in front of and down the left kidney.

Function

The descending colon’s major function is to store hardened stool that will eventually empty into the rectum and be removed from the body.

The teniae coli, or smooth muscle bands, produce a series of pouches, or haustra, in all four sections of the colon. The colon appears segmented as a result of this.

The gastrocolic reflex is activated when the colon fills with digested food, causing peristalsis, which is a sequence of wave-like muscular contractions that assist move food along the digestive tract. Food can now pass from the descending colon to the rectum.

The colon’s overall function includes:

  • forming and moving stool forward into the rectum for removal
  • producing and absorbing vitamins
  • absorbing water and electrolytes

Conditions

The function of the descending colon and the colon as a whole may be affected by certain disorders. They may have an effect on the colon’s ability to absorb nutrients and create stool.

The following are some of the most prevalent descending colon health issues:

Crohn’s disease

Another chronic inflammatory disease is Crohn’s disease. It’s an autoimmune condition that can affect any region of the digestive tract, including the colon, from the mouth to the anus.

The skin, joints, bones, eyes, kidneys, and liver are all affected, though the digestive system is the most common. Furthermore, it causes intestinal ulcers, which cause discomfort and pain.

Experts are unsure what causes Crohn’s disease, but they believe it is caused by an aberrant immunological response. Other factors, like as genetics and the environment, could also be at play.

Irritable bowel disease (IBD) includes both UC and Crohn’s disease.

Colonic perforation

A colonic or bowel perforation is a type of gastrointestinal perforation that occurs in the colon.

A cut, tear, or puncture in the colon’s wall can be caused by an injury, but it can also be caused by infection, obstruction, or inflammation.

A colonic perforation causes significant abdominal pain and often necessitates emergency surgery, which may include the removal of a portion of the intestines.

UC

UC is an inflammatory condition that lasts for a long time. It is caused by immune system abnormalities that cause inflammation in the colon.

Ulcers form in the lining of the colon lining as a result of UC. This might cause in stool pain and the urge to stool regularly.

Experts are unsure of the actual cause of UC, however it could be caused by a condition of variables, including:

Colorectal cancer

Cancer that begins in the colon or rectum is known as colorectal cancer. This happens when cancer cells in the colon start to grow out of control.

Colorectal cancers typically begin as polyps on the inner lining of the colon. However, not all polyps become cancerous, and the likelihood of a polyp becoming cancerous varies depending on the type of tumor present.

The size and location of tumors, whether the cancer is recurring, and a person’s overall health will all influence treatment. Among the possibilities are:

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition in which small pouches or sacs called diverticula form and push outward through weak areas in the colon wall, causing inflammation.

These protrusions may not always be problematic, but when they get inflamed, they can cause symptoms like:

They can also cause problems including perforation and bleeding.

The following treatments may be used:

  • using antibiotics
  • in some cases, undergoing surgery
  • increasing one’s dietary fiber intake
  • taking pain relief medication

Tips for a healthy colon

People should eat a well-balanced diet, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy colon.

The American Cancer Society provides the following colon health recommendations to help minimize the risk of colorectal cancer:

  • reducing consumption of red and processed meats
  • reaching or maintaining a moderate body weight
  • limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption
  • having a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains
  • quitting smoking
  • exercising
  • increasing dietary fiber intake

Conclusion

The big intestine includes the descending colon. It joins the transverse and sigmoid colon and is used to hold stool before it is emptied into the rectum.

The colon as a whole is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the diet as well as producing and releasing wastes.

IBD, colonic perforation, and diverticulitis are just a few of the health problems that can affect colon function.

Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and limiting or avoiding processed meats and alcohol, can help to preserve intestinal health.

Sources:

  • https://training.seer.cancer.gov/colorectal/anatomy/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507857/
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer.html
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537224/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470577/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/descending-colon
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549888/
  • https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-crohns-disease/overview
  • https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-ulcerative-colitis/overview
  • https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/retroperitoneal
  • https://www.training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/digestive/regions/intestine.html
  • https://www.cdc.gov/ibd/what-is-IBD.htm

Continue Reading

GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology

What to know about the rectum

Published

on

The rectum connects the colon to the anus at the end of the large intestine. It’s the place where a person keeps their stool before excreting it.

The rectum, also known as the intestinum rectum, is a component of the digestive system that sits at the end of the large intestine. It is a connection between the GI tract and the anus. It sits after the sigmoid colon, the last portion of the colon, and is where the body stores excrement before expulsion.

The function and architecture of the rectum, as well as common disorders that may affect it, will be discussed in this article.

What is it?

rectum

The rectum is the last section of the large intestine closest to the anus, according to the National Cancer Institute. The large intestine is around 5 feet long in total, with the rectum accounting for about 12–15 centimeters of that length.

The intestines employ the muscular walls of the sigmoid colon to push excrement into the rectum when the digestive process is completed. The rectum is where the body stores excrement until it is time to defecate. When the rectum is full, stretch receptors in the wall sense it and stimulate the need to pass stool through the anus.

When to consult a doctor

If a person is having rectal discomfort or any other symptoms that could signal a problem around the anal area, they should see a doctor. Any rectal condition can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life, so it’s preferable to address the issue as soon as possible to minimize problems. If a person is over the age of 50, they should talk to their doctor about having frequent rectal cancer screenings.

Rectal anatomy

Rectal anatomy

The large intestine is divided into four sections:

  • Cecum: Also known as the ileocecal junction, this section joins the small and large intestines. The cecum helps absorb water and any remaining salts during the digestion process.
  • Colon: The colon is the longest portion of the large intestine. It also absorbs water and electrolytes.
  • Rectum: The rectum stores feces until a person is ready to have a bowel movement.
  • Anal canal: The anus is the final portion of the large intestine. It helps a person have bowel movements.

Between the sigmoid part of the colon and the anal canal is where the rectum is located. The sacral and anorectal flexures are two primary flexures, or bends, in the rectum. There are also three lateral flexures, referred to as the Houston valves. These bends help sustain the weight of excrement while also preventing a strong and sudden urge to defecate.

The rectal ampulla, which connects the rectum to the anal canal, is located at the end of the rectum. The ampulla’s function is to act as a brief holding area for feces before it is released through the anal canal. When the ampulla fills up, the intrarectal pressure forces the walls of the anal canal to swell and expand, allowing excrement to enter.

Common rectal conditions

The following are some of the conditions that might affect the rectum:

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in the rectum and anus that protrude. They don’t always create symptoms, but when they do, patients may have the following symptoms:

  • discomfort, irritation, or itching in the anal area
  • pain in the anal area
  • sensitive lumps
  • bleeding during defecation
  • protrusion of skin during bowel movements

Infections

A variety of infections can affect the rectum, causing itching, discomfort, and proctitis, among other unpleasant symptoms.

An individual may contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) after indulging in anal sex, for example. This can include things like:

Antibiotics can sometimes cause a bacterial infection of the rectum. This is due to the fact that antibiotics can kill the good bacteria that keep pathogens like Clostridioides difficile , away. The germs can then grow out of control and invade the rectum.

Infections of the rectum and rectal tissues can also be caused by the fungus. The following are some examples of fungal diseases:

  • histoplasmosis
  • mucormycosis
  • cryptococcosis
  • candidiasis

Parasites can enter the body and cause disease, especially when cleanliness is poor. Protozoa, which are single-celled organisms, and helminths, which are worms, are the two most common parasitic infections in the bowel. Parasites can cause a variety of issues affecting various parts of the gut, including the rectum.

Anal abscess

A collection of pus in the tissue surrounding the anus or rectum is known as an anal abscess. One usually happens after an illness or an obstruction. A perirectal abscess is a type of rectal abscess that affects roughly 68,000–96,000 persons in the United States each year, according to data. A doctor would usually cut and drain the pus-filled cavity as part of the treatment.

Prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when a portion or all of the rectal wall passes through the anal sphincter, the seal that keeps the rectal contents contained. The weakening of the muscles that support the rectum is the most common cause of this illness.

Rectal prolapse can be classified into three categories:

  • External: The entire rectum wall protrudes out of the anus, also known as full-thickness or complete prolapse.
  • Mucosal: Only the mucosa, or anus lining, protrudes through the anus.
  • Internal: Also known as an incomplete prolapse, the rectum folds in on itself but does not protrude out through the anus.

Incontinence

The rectum is vital for managing defecation and maintaining continence because it retains excrement. If a person’s rectum suffers from muscle injury, nerve damage, prolapse, or scarring, it’s possible that the rectum is unable to function properly, causing stool to seep from the anus.

Rectal cancer

Rectal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the rectum’s tissues. Rectal cancer can cause the following symptoms, which are not always present:

  • bright red blood in stool
  • leaks of diarrhea
  • constipation
  • pain
  • changes in bowel habits

Colon and rectal cancers are the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy are all possible treatment options.

Rectal health advice

People can try to practice proper anal hygiene to assist preserve rectal health and prevent rectal disorders. This can involve things like having regular bowel movements and using safer sex. Furthermore, lifestyle adjustments can aid in improving rectal health and lowering the risk of rectal cancer. These can include the following:

  • avoiding alcohol
  • reaching or maintaining a moderate body weight
  • maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet
  • avoiding smoking
  • exercising regularly

Conclusion

The rectum connects the colon to the anus and is the last segment of the large intestine. It’s the place in the body where stool is kept until a person is ready to poop.

The rectal area can be affected by a variety of disorders. By producing pain, discomfort, and incontinence, any of these can lower quality of life. If a person is having problems with their bowels, they should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Sources:

  • https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/about.html
  • https://fascrs.org/patients/diseases-and-conditions/a-z/abscess-and-fistula-expanded-information
  • https://training.seer.cancer.gov/colorectal/anatomy/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507857/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/rectum
  • https://www.cdc.gov/cdiff/index.html
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html
  • https://fascrs.org/patients/diseases-and-conditions
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442724/
  • https://fascrs.org/patients/diseases-and-conditions/a-z/hemorrhoids
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537103/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211850/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493202/
  • https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/patient/rectal-treatment-pdq
  • https://medlineplus.gov/rectaldisorders.html
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/rectal-prolapse
  • https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/rectum
  • https://www.training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/digestive/regions/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532308/
  • https://training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/digestive/regions/intestine.html
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/bowel-control-problems-fecal-incontinence/symptoms-causes
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507895/
  • https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/index.html

Continue Reading

Crohn's / IBD

Is there a link between IBD and microplastics?

Published

on

microplastics
A recent study investigates the relationship between microplastics and IBD.

In a recent small-scale investigation, researchers discovered a link between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and higher levels of microplastics in feces. The results were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The study, however, does not prove that microplastics cause IBD. More research is needed to confirm the findings and then seek an explanation for the link.

IBD explained

IBD is a broad term that refers to a variety of gastrointestinal disorders marked by inflammation. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most frequent kinds.

Diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, abdominal pain, and exhaustion are all symptoms of IBD.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes IBD, but they believe it starts when a person who is genetically predisposed to the disease is exposed to a specific trigger. More research is needed to determine how important environmental triggers are.

IBD and microplastics

The researchers wanted to discover if there was a link between microplastics and IBD in this new study. Microplastics are present in people’s bodies throughout their lives, yet the health repercussions are unknown.

“We urgently need to know more about the health consequences of microplastics since they are everywhere—including in our drinking water,” says Dr. Maria Neira, WHO director of Public Health, Environment, and Social Determinants of Health.

“Microplastics in drinking water do not appear to constitute a health danger at current levels, based on the limited knowledge we have.” However, we need to learn more. We must also halt the global surge of plastic pollution.”

The current study’s corresponding author is Dr. Yan Zhang. He works at Nanjing University’s School of Environment’s State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, where he previously discovered that microplastics accumulate in the liver, kidney, and intestine in animal models.

He also discovered that the particle size of the microplastics had a significant impact on the accumulation.

“Compelling evidence suggests that microplastics primarily collect in the guts of many species and induce intestinal inflammation and metabolic disturbance,” the researcher told Medical News Today. “Microplastics will inevitably come into contact with humans.”

“Estimating the exposure levels and loads of microplastics in people is crucial for assessing the health risk of microplastics.” However, accurate evidence on the effects of microplastics on humans is still unavailable. Furthermore, the actual health danger of human exposure to microplastics has long been a source of worry.

Fecal samples

Because microplastics are routinely ingested through the gut, the researchers wanted to see if there was a link between microplastics and IBD.

They did this by examining fecal samples from study participants. The researchers gathered 52 persons with IBD and 50 people who were otherwise healthy but did not have IBD.

The participants answered questions on the foods and beverages they consume, their working and living conditions over the past year, the state of their IBD, and their demographic characteristics on a questionnaire.

The scientists then looked at the feces samples to see how much and what kind of microplastics were present.

Microplastics linked to IBD

They discovered that those with IBD had considerably more microplastic in their stools than those who were healthy.

Further research revealed a link between the severity of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and the number of microplastics present.

The researchers also discovered that persons who had more microplastic in their stool samples drank more bottled water, ate more takeout food, and were exposed to more dust where they lived or worked.

“For the first time, this study reveals that there is a significant difference in the concentration of microplastics in feces from IBD patients and healthy people. Our study also indicates that the characteristics of fecal microplastics are useful to estimate the gut exposure of microplastics.”

– Dr. Yan Zhang

“It’s difficult to say whether microplastics play a role in the development of IBD because it’s a complex systemic disease with an unknown etiology.” People with IBD are more likely to retain microplastics, we suspect.”

The study had flaws as well, the most significant of which was its small size. Before scientists can reach more solid findings, they must perform much larger investigations.

“The concentration of [microplastics] in feces found in this study cannot directly match the concentration of [microplastics] in the gastrointestinal system or in the human body,” the study authors write.

To put it another way, just though people with IBD excrete more microplastic doesn’t mean they have more microplastic in their bodies.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 NccMed.com