Secretory Diarrhea

Definition
Clinical Consequences
  • Secretory diarrhea is usually characterized by a large volumes of watery diarrhea. There is usually little pain and notably the diarrhea continues even in the absence of food intake.
Etiologies
  • Excessive Intestinal Secretion
    • Fecal Impaction: Chronic irritation of the large intestine mucosa by impacted feces generally leads to increased large intestinal secretion in a misguided attempt to dilute the irritant
    • Microbes: A number of infectious agents cause secretory diarrhea by enhancing small intestinal secretion but they are considered as part of Infectious Diarrhea
  • Reduced GI Water and Electrolyte Absorption
    • Resection of ileum: Insufficient surface area for complete water and electrolyte absorption
    • Hypersecretion of VIP: Either due to VIPoma or thyroid medullary carcinoma