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Diarrhea: Symptoms, causes, prevention, and treatment

Diarrhea: Symptoms, causes, prevention, and treatment

NCERT Infrexa

Diarrhea or loose motions means loose, watery stools or the need for frequent bowel movements.

It usually lasts a few days and often gets better without any treatment. It can be acute or chronic.

Acute diarrhea occurs when it lasts for one to two days. It can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, or it can also be caused by food poisoning.

It is said to be chronic when it lasts for at least four weeks. It is usually the result of some intestinal disease or disorder, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.

Diarrhea Symptoms

There are many different symptoms of diarrhea. You may have only one or several of these symptoms. Symptoms depend on the cause of loose motion.

It is common to have one or more of the following symptoms:


Diarrhea can be caused by many diseases or conditions. Possible causes of diarrhea include:

Bacterial infections caused by Salmonella or E. coli are also common.

Chronic diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious condition such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

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Although diarrhea can be caused by many reasons, there are several things you can do to prevent it:


In addition to doing a physical exam, the doctor may order certain tests to determine why diarrhea is occurring. They include:

Blood Tests – The CBC test can help determine for sure why diarrhea is occurring.

Stool test – Your doctor may order a stool test to determine whether bacteria or parasites are causing diarrhea.

Colonoscopy – If no obvious cause is found for persistent diarrhea, the doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to look at the inner lining of the stomach and recommend a biopsy. In both procedures, a thin, lighted tube with a lens on the end is used to look inside your abdomen.


Mild cases of acute diarrhea may get better without treatment. In cases of persistent or chronic diarrhea (long-standing diarrhea), the treatment for diarrhea and its symptoms are as follows:

Overcoming Dehydration

In all cases of diarrhea, the first important step in treatment is to rehydrate:

Right Nutrition

There are certain foods and drinks that may benefit diarrhea, such as:

Limit certain foods that can trigger diarrhea. such as:


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Diarrhea Complications

Dehydration or lack of water in the body is most at risk when diarrhea occurs:

Apart from this, there may be some other problems, such as:

If it is prolonged or severe, there may be a mineral or electrolyte deficiency. In which electrolytes (minerals) are lost from water.

The most common deficiencies are sodium and potassium. Abnormalities of chloride and bicarbonate may also develop.

Lastly, frequent bowel movements can also irritate the pulp due to irritants present in the water in the stool.

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