Flatus--gas or air expelled through the anus.
Thirst--due to loss of body fluids.
Anorexia--loss of appetite.
d. Treatment. Treatment may include one or more of the following:
(1) An antidiarrheal agent such as Metamucil, diphenoxylate HCl with
atropine sulfate (Lomotil), loperamide HCl (Imodium), opium tincture deodorized, or
camphorated tincture of opium (paregoric). Combination products may be given such
as Kaopectate (kaolin and pectin), Parelixir (tincture of opium and pectin), or
Donnagel (kaolin, pectin, hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine).
Replace fluids and electrolytes either orally or intravenously.
(3) Adjust the diet. Eliminate foods that may cause diarrhea such as raw
vegetables and fruits, fried foods, bran, whole grain cereals, preserves, syrups, candies,
pickles, relishes, spices, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. When diarrhea is severe,
allow no foods by mouth and maintain intravenous feedings. Progress to clear liquids if
tolerated, then advance the patient to a soft, bland diet followed by other foods as
(4) Severe cases of diarrhea may require treatment aimed specifically at the
cause of the illness.
a. Definition. Constipation is difficult or infrequent passage of feces with the
stools abnormally dry. Hard, dry stools usually occurring infrequently is another
definition of constipation. The frequency of bowel movements differs greatly from
person to person. Bowel movements every other day are normal for some individuals;
others have two or three movements each day. Infrequent bowel movements do not
mean an individual is constipated unless the time between movements is abnormal for
that particular person. Types of constipation include chronic and acute.
b. Etiology. A variety of factors can cause constipation. Included are the
Altered diet lacking the necessary bulk food and fluid intake.
Changed physical activity such as prolonged bed rest.
Obstruction in the digestive system such as colonic or rectal lesions.