Diarrhea

Diarrhea is common and it is also called loose motion which makes your bowel movements watery. It is usually not serious. Most of the people get diarrhea a few times a year. It lasts normally for 2 to 3 days.

What Causes Diarrhea?

Usually, it occurs because of a virus that gets into your gut. It is also called as “intestinal flu” or “stomach flu”.

Other causes include:

  • Allergies to certain foods
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Diseases of the intestines
  • Eating foods which are not good for the digestive system
  • Laxative abuse
  • Medications
  • Infection by bacteria or other organisms
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Surgery on your digestive system
  • Radiation therapy
  • Some cancers
  • Trouble absorbing certain nutrients

Symptoms

  • Bloating in your belly
  • Thin or loose stools
  • Watery stools
  • Cramps
  • Nausea and throwing up
  • An urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • More serious symptoms include:
  • Fever
  • Blood or mucus in your stool
  • Weight loss

When Should you Call your Doctor?

If you have:

  • A fever that is high or that lasts more than 24 hours
  • Blood in your feces or black, tarry stools
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
  • Diarrhea after coming back from a foreign country
  • Severe pain in your belly or rear end.

Some symptoms of dehydration are mentioned below. If you have them with diarrhea, see your doctor.

  • Dark urine
  • Headaches
  • Smaller than usual amounts of urine
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dry skin
  • Confusion
  • Crankiness

Learn more

Read our previous posts: Effects of Caffeine on Health

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