Secretory diarrhea occurs when an infection or virus causes the body to make too much water, which is released into the bowels.
Read the full transcript »
Secretory Diarrhea Male: But there is something else it’s called secretory diarrhea and that’s the kind that you can get when you’re sick, unlike osmotic diarrhea which pulls water in, with secretory your cells that line your GI tract push water into your bowels. So as an example pretend this is a cell lining your GI tract, believe it or not it pushes water in and it can be a profuse amount to the point where even if you haven’t had anything to eat or drink, you can have profuse watery diarrhea and I get this in the ER all the time. Be careful on the front row because this may explode. But I do get a lot where people say “You know, I haven’t eaten anything yet I still have diarrhea. That’s because it’s not what you’ve taken in that’s coming out, your body is actually pumping water and diarrhea electrolytes into the lumen of your bowel and then it’s coming out. Dr. Jim Sears: Yes. It’s all part of that infection that’s triggering. And that’s the kind of diarrhea kids get. In Unites States kids get about, this a lot, like seven to 15 episodes of diarrhea each year. Most of them are caused by something called rotavirus that’s what people think. When they say, “Oh, I got stomach flu,” it’s actually -- it’s not a flu, it’s a virus called rotavirus. But it can be really serious, last year rotavirus alone caused about 1.5 million deaths world wide in children under five. So it can be really serious --