What is it?

Diarrhea (loose, watery, and sometimes frequent bowel movement) is a symptom of many different conditions. It could present alone or together with other gastric symptoms and it could be either acute or chronic. Most common conditions that cause diarrhea include viruses, bacteria and parasites, medications such as antibiotics, lactose intolerance, fructose, artificial sweeteners, and diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Chron’s, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Loose stools

Signs & symptoms

Diarrhea is loose, watery and sometimes frequent bowel movement. It could present with abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, fever, mucus in stool, blood in stool and urgent need to have a bowel movement.


Diagnosis is based upon physical examination and medical history. Further evaluation depends on the clinical suspicion and may include colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, hydrogen breath, these for lactose intolerance, stool and blood tests.


Treatment depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, acute diarrhea will stop on its own after a couple of days without any treatment. Sometimes, antibiotics or anti parasitics medication will help. For chronic conditions, special treatment will be needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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