ETYM French colique, from Latin colicus sick with the colic, Greek kolon the colon. The disease is so named from its being seated in or near the colon. Related to Colon.
Acute abdominal pain (especially in infants); SYN. intestinal colic.
Spasmodic attack of pain in the abdomen, usually coming in waves. Colicky pains are caused by the painful muscular contraction and subsequent distension of a hollow organ; for example, the bowels, gall bladder (biliary colic), or ureter (renal colic).
Intestinal colic is due to partial or complete blockage of the intestine, or constipation; infantile colic is usually due to wind in the intestine.
Spasmic pain in intestines.
ETYM Latin diarrhoea, Greek diarroia, from diarrein to flow through; dia + rein to flow; akin to Eng. stream. Related to Stream.
(Alternate spelling: diarrhoea)
Frequent and watery bowel movements; SYN. diarrhoea, looseness of the bowels.
Excessive action of the bowels so that the feces are fluid or semifluid. It is caused by intestinal irritants (including some drugs and poisons), infection with harmful organisms (as in dysentery, salmonella, or cholera), or allergies.
Diarrhea is the biggest killer of children in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million children die each year from dehydration as a result of diarrheal disease in Third World countries. It can be treated by giving an accurately measured aqueous solution of salt and glucose by mouth in large quantities (salt water with sugar, to restore the electrolyte balance in the blood). Since most diarrhea is viral in origin, antibiotics are ineffective.