• Constipation and diarrhoea in the pharmacy: Front Shop Module 2, 2023

    Constipation is a common complaint and is often self-treated based on the patient’s
    impression that there has been a change in normal bowel function. However, the term
    constipation may mean different things to different people.
    Many people believe that a daily bowel movement is necessary for good health. Therefore,
    an important health role for the pharmacy front shop staff is to educate people about normal
    bowel function. It is, however, essential to find out from the person complaining about
    constipation, if their bowel habits have changed from what is usual for them. It may be
    necessary to refer people with persistent constipation to their doctor for further evaluation.
    Diarrhoea is not a disease but can be a symptom of several illnesses. It is usually a
    symptom of an infection in the intestinal tract, which can be caused by various bacteria,
    viruses, or parasitic organisms. The infection is typically spread by the intake of
    contaminated food or water, or from person-to-person because of poor hygiene.
    The most severe threat posed by diarrhoea is dehydration. During an episode of diarrhoea,
    water and electrolytes are lost through the frequent passing of liquid stools. Dehydration
    happens when these water and electrolyte losses are not replaced. Dehydration may rapidly
    progress from mild to moderate to severe, particularly in young children and the elderly.
    This module discusses constipation and acute infectious diarrhoea (gastroenteritis) and their
    management in the community pharmacy setting.

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