What Causes Postpartum Diarrhea

Postpartum diarrhea is one of the rare occurrences that can happen after a pregnancy. This is because it is usually the opposite of what most women actually experience, which is constipation. This is because of the hormone progesterone that can cause more water to be pulled back from the colon into the blood. This causes feces to dry out excessively and form a plug in a condition called fecal impaction. Diarrhea that happens in the postpartum period is probably because of another cause rather than the withdrawal of pregnancy. One theory is that the drop in progesterone levels can probably affect the...


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...colonic activity but this is purely conjecture.

Reasons for Postpartum Diarrhea

The human intestines are a long tract that ends in the large intestines. The colon is a part of this system and is that part of the intestines where water is reabsorbed into the blood stream. This is also the part of the body that is responsible for the digestion of complex sugars through the action of intestinal bacteria. This occurs because tough fibrous plant material is composed of sugars called polysaccharides. These cannot be broken down by the normal digestive enzymes and need a helping hand from bacteria; much like the digestion that occurs in cows. The intestinal bacteria will then break down these complex sugars and it is absorbed into the blood. Diarrhea can sometimes occur when these intestinal bacteria don't exist, as is the case when antibiotics are consumed. The digestible material then bypasses one process completely and ends up going straight to the rectum with excessive water content.

Causes for Postpartum Diarrhea

Postpartum hyperthyroidism is also a possible cause of diarrhea and this will have to be monitored by your doctor. It is important that you get diarrhea treated as fast as possible because with nursing, you will lose a lot of your body's nutrients and an electrolyte imbalance will cause you much further discomfort. To treat this condition, lay off solid foods for a day and stick to fruit juices like orange and lemonade. Eat probiotic yogurt that will repopulate your intestines with the correct proportion of required bacteria. Once your diarrhea completely stops, eat simple food that does not include hard digesting material like fiber for a day but starting eating this from the next day as you gain more confidence in your bowels. You should also consider the possibility that you might have some kind of infection in your intestines and this would require antibiotics.

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