Digestive issues are common problems that can affect people of all ages. Among these, diarrhea and dysentery a two conditions that can be quite discomforting and disruptive to our daily lives. In this blog, we will explore the Ayurvedic view on the difference between diarrhea and dysentery, including their causes, symptoms, and Ayurvedic therapies to alleviate these conditions.
What is Diarrhoea or Diarrhea?
In Ayurveda, diarrhea known as Atisara in Ayurveda, is a common gastrointestinal disorder characterized by frequent, loose, and watery stools. Diarrhea is considered to be a result of an imbalance in the digestive fire or Agni. When Agni is weakened or impaired, it leads to improper digestion and absorption of food, resulting in the production of toxins or Ama. These toxins then accumulate in the intestines, leading to diarrhea.
Symptoms of Diarrhoea
Common symptoms of diarrhea includes:
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According to Ayurveda, there are three types of diarrhea based on the doshic imbalance:
Vata type diarrhoea:
This is characterized by stools that are thin, frothy, and accompanied by gas and abdominal pain. It is caused by an aggravation of the Vata dosha, which is responsible for the movement and elimination of waste from the body.
Pitta type diarrhoea:
This type of diarrhea is characterized by loose stools that are yellowish or greenish in color, with a burning sensation and increased frequency. It is caused by an aggravation of the Pitta dosha, which is responsible for digestion and metabolism.
Kapha type diarrhoea:
This type of diarrhea is characterized by thick, sticky stools that are pale in color and have a foul odor. It is caused by an aggravation of the Kapha dosha, which is responsible for maintaining stability and lubrication in the body.
Ayurvedic remedies for diarrhea aim to balance the aggravated dosha responsible for the condition. These may include dietary modifications, herbal formulations like Kutajarishta, Bilva churna, or Pomegranate peel decoction, and lifestyle changes to promote proper digestion and hydration.
What is Dysentery?
Diarrhoea, if not treated from the root, and digestion, if not strengthened, can lead to Dysentery. Amoeba or Bacteria may also cause Dysentery. The person passes a lot of stool with mucus. These symptoms are enough to identify Dysentery. There is a frequent urge to pass stools which is mostly with white pus and mucus. Occasionally blood comes out too. The person feels exhausted and often does not have enough energy to walk. Each time he passes a stool, he feels relieved temporarily. The urge to pass stools comes up again soon.
Dysentery, known as Pravahika in Ayurveda, is a more severe condition that affects the large intestine. It is characterized by inflammation of the intestinal lining, resulting in bloody or mucus-filled stools, along with abdominal pain and cramps.
Dysentery symptoms include:
- Urge to empty your bowels suddenly
- Loose, runny stool
- Continually going to the toilet to empty bowels
- Pain in the stomach
- Muscle cramps
Note that the symptoms of dysentery are similar to diarrhea but are also severe and accompanied by other symptoms.
Also Read: 9 Most Effective Home Remedies for Dysentery
Types of Dysentary:
Ayurveda classifies dysentery into two main types:
This type is caused by the accumulation of toxins (ama) in the body due to poor digestion and weak digestive fire (agni). It is often associated with symptoms such as foul-smelling stools, abdominal discomfort, and general lethargy.
This type is caused by an aggravated Pitta dosha, resulting from excessive heat in the body. It is often associated with symptoms like burning sensation in the abdomen, fever, and thirst.
Diarrhea and dysentery are gastrointestinal disorders that can significantly impact our well-being and daily routines. According to Ayurveda, understanding the doshic imbalances responsible for these conditions is crucial in selecting appropriate remedies. By adopting Ayurvedic principles of balanced diet, lifestyle modifications, and herbal formulations, we can effectively address the underlying causes and promote overall digestive health.
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Panchakarma – Detox: An Ayurvedic Therapy for Diarrhoea and Dysentery
During the monsoon season, our bodies are susceptible to various health conditions, and one common ailment that affects the digestive system is diarrhoea and dysentery. Understanding these conditions and their causes can help us take preventive measures and seek appropriate treatment. In addition to conventional remedies, Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to healing, with Panchakarma being a highly effective treatment for diarrhoea and dysentery.
Diarrhoea is a prevalent condition characterized by loose and watery stools, while dysentery is an infection or inflammation of the intestine, often leading to blood in the stool. The symptoms of these conditions include stomach cramps, nausea, bloating, frequent bowel movements, and urgency to empty the bowels. Dysentery symptoms may be more severe, accompanied by vomiting, muscle cramps, and fever.
The causes of diarrhoea can range from food allergies to digestive tract issues, medications, parasitic infections, and irritable bowel syndrome. On the other hand, dysentery is primarily caused by viruses or bacteria, such as Shigella, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, or Campylobacter, which can contaminate food and water sources.
To prevent diarrhoea and dysentery, it is crucial to take precautionary measures. Drinking safe water and properly storing food can significantly reduce the risk of contamination.Practicing good hygiene, consuming thoroughly cooked food, and drinking bottled water when traveling are additional preventive steps.
Ayushakti Ayurved’s Panchakarma Therapies To Provide Relief from Diarrhoea and Dysentary
Ayurveda offers valuable insights and treatments for diarrhoea and dysentery. Panchakarma, a renowned Ayurvedic therapy, can provide comprehensive relief and support the body’s natural healing processes. It involves five primary procedures: Vamana (emesis), Virechana (purgation), Basti (enema), Nasya (nasal administration), and Raktamokshana (bloodletting). Panchakarma aims to eliminate toxins, balance the doshas (energetic forces), and restore overall well-being.
In the case of diarrhoea and dysentery, specific Panchakarma procedures are employed. Vamana and Virechana help eliminate excess Pitta dosha responsible for inflammation and infection in the gastrointestinal tract. Basti, an herbal enema, cleanses and strengthens the colon, reducing inflammation and promoting healthy bowel movements. These Ayurvedic treatments can be tailored to individual needs under the guidance of an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner.
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While home remedies can provide relief, it is essential to consult a doctor, especially for dysentery. If symptoms persist for more than 2-3 days, or if you experience severe abdominal pain, high fever, signs of dehydration, or changes in urine color, seeking medical attention is crucial.
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- Restoring normal poop.
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- Relief in stomach pain, gas, bloating, nausea.
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Remember, prevention is better than cure. By adopting hygienic practices, following Ayurvedic principles, and seeking appropriate advice, we can safeguard ourselves against diarrhoea and dysentery during the monsoon season. Embracing Ayurvedic treatments like Panchakarma can not only address the symptoms but also restore harmony and balance to our bodies, promoting overall well-being.
Consult an Ayushakti expert to learn more about Panchakarma and how it can benefit you. Take charge of your health and enjoy the monsoon season to the fullest.
It is important to note that while Ayurvedic remedies can be helpful, severe or persistent cases of diarrhea or dysentery require medical attention. Consultation with a qualified ayurveda professional is recommended to ensure proper diagnosis, treatment, and care.
Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating mindfully, managing stress, and seeking Ayurvedic guidance when necessary can contribute to improved digestive well-being and overall health.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is intended for knowledge purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before trying any home remedies or treatments.
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Blog Author: Dr Deepak Mahajan
Expert Review By: Dr Smita Pankaj Naram
Co-Founder, Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd