Symptoms, causes, and treatments for
We’ve all experienced it—loose, watery bowel movements. Repeated trips to the bathroom. Stomach pain.
Diarrhea is common, but it can also be a symptom of several different, and potentially serious, illnesses.
If you have acute diarrhea, it can last up to two weeks. Chronic diarrhea persists for longer than two to four weeks and is likely caused by a medical disorder like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Other symptoms that accompany diarrhea include:
Causes of acute diarrhea include contracting one of several kinds of viral or bacterial infections like, as you’ve probably experienced at some point in your life, a foodborne illness.
Acute infectious diarrhea causes include:
Ongoing medical conditions cause chronic diarrhea. Common underlying causes include:
Staying hydrated is important when you have diarrhea for any length of time. Drinking enough liquids can prevent you from getting sicker. Children in particular are susceptible to dehydration from diarrhea. Watch them closely in case symptoms worsen.
However, seek immediate medical attention if your child experiences any of the following symptoms while having an episode of diarrhea:
Adults should seek immediate medical attention if the following apply:
Consider these tips to help prevent diarrhea: