what causes diarrhea

Antibiotics appear to make some bacterial diarrhea worse, specifically those caused by the E coli bacterium (often a source of food poisoning). If a person has severe diarrhea, especially accompanied with dehydration, he or she may require hospitalization to receive IV fluids and to be observed. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Loose stools are more common in breastfed newborns than in formula-fed babies, so check with your doctor about to expect for your child. Check the Travelers' Health Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for travel information for your destination. Reaction to certain medications can cause drug-induced diarrhea including antibiotics, blood pressure medications, cancer drugs, gout medications, weight loss drugs, and antacids (especially those containing magnesium). Family members or others eating the same food may have similar illnesses. A colonoscopy is an endoscope procedure that allows the physician to view the entire colon to evaluate for infections or structural abnormalities that could cause the condition. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. home The most important things you can do in the meantime are: It can follow close on the heels of diarrhea, especially when symptoms linger, or if you vomit. Sports. Talk with your doctor if your child has diarrhea for more than 24 hours. It happens when you eat food contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses. Intestinal disorders or diseases (including those that affect the small intestine or colon) including inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, microscopic colitis, and celiac disease, and malabsorption (trouble digesting certain nutrients) are non-infectious causes of chronic diarrhea.

American Cancer Society. Diarrhea is the frequent passage of loose, watery, soft stools with or without abdominal bloating, pressure, and cramps commonly referred to as gas. Other symptoms include: Several disorders of the liver and gallbladder can impair the action of bile, preventing the proper breakdown of fats in the intestine. Food poisoning is a common cause of diarrhea. After the diarrhea subsides, avoid alcoholic beverages and spicy foods for two additional days. Side effects and serious interactions with prescription and nonprescription medications (OTC) are always a possibility. A number of conditions can cause diarrhea, including: Diarrhea Cause #1: Food Poisoning.

Viral infections cause most cases of diarrhea and are typically associated with mild-to-moderate symptoms with frequent, watery bowel movements, abdominal cramps, and a low-grade fever.

dietary changes to avoid foods triggering loose stools, taking anti-diarrhea medication, such as Imodium. It can cause diarrhea and loose stools. If you have diarrhea, how can you tell whether you should wait it out or see a doctor? The following precautions can help an individual avoid diarrhea and other viral or bacterial infections: Practice safe food handling. An episode of loose stools is an early sign of diarrhea. This can interfere with digestion and cause loose stools or diarrhea. Causes of Diarrhea After Eating. This can cause loose stools or diarrhea. In some cases, antibiotics may benefit some adults with diarrhea. Children with frequent stools, fever, or vomiting should stay at home and avoid school and day-care until these symptoms go away. Food should be cooked to the recommended temperatures. Treating Diarrhea in Puppies The treatment for your puppy’s diarrhea … Diarrhea varies in specific symptoms, severity and duration.

Diets high in lactose, a sugar found in milk-based products, can also cause loose stools. Sometimes, the body can have problems digesting certain types of sugars, such as sugar alcohols and lactose. What Procedures and Tests Diagnose Diarrhea? Don't drink water or drinks with ice cubes made from tap water if the country is deemed unsafe. Learn more…. This usually happens after longer distances over 10K or particularly hard runs. To figure out the cause, your doctor will want to know your symptoms and medical history. See Additional Information. Diarrhea immediately after eating can occur with just about any bowel disease where diarrhea is a symptom. What to know about Crohn's disease and intestinal strictures. What Is the Prognosis for Severe Diarrhea? Other symptoms can include: Celiac disease is a common condition in which the consumption of gluten causes an inflammation of the small intestine. Adenovirus is one common cause of diarrhea. Many cases of diarrhea are spread from person-to-person. If a person has severe diarrhea, they should contact their doctor or go to an emergency department or urgent care center because medical treatment may be necessary. In some cases a doctor may order a stool culture, blood tests, a colonoscopy, or imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans to determine an underlying cause. Follow label directions, which may specify 1 teaspoonful every 15 minutes. Tell your doctor about every prescription medication, OTC medication, vitamin, and supplement an individual uses, and seek medical advice for any health concerns prior to taking any medication or remedy. How is gum disease linked to inflammation, heart disease, cancer? This can cause loose stools or diarrhea. Gastroparesis: What to Eat and What to Avoid, Newly Diagnosed With Crohn's? be caused by a variety of things like viruses, bacteria, fungi, inflammation from medications (antibiotics), seafood, food allergies, and heavy metals.

Digestive surgery including stomach or intestinal surgery may cause diarrhea. List of Natural and Home Remedies for Adults and Children for Diarrhea, Super Tips to Boost Digestive Health: Bloating, Constipation, and More, List of Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications. Laxative abuse is one of the biggest self-induced causes of diarrhea, by taking too many laxatives, or taking them too frequently. The BRAT diet (diarrhea diet) is a combination of foods to eat to treat diarrhea. In some cases, the health care professional may send a sample of the stool (or sometimes a cotton swab from the patient's rectum) to the laboratory to evaluate if the cause of diarrhea can be determined (such as certain bacteria or parasites present in the body). The following are the common causes of diarrhea caused by viral infections (viral gastroenteritis): Bacterial infections cause the more serious cases of infectious diarrhea. The parvovirus causes diarrhea in puppies and is a potentially lethal infection that requires immediate veterinary attention. Diarrhea can be further defined in the following ways: chronic diarrhea is the presence of loose or liquid stools for over two weeks; acute enteritis is inflammation of the intestine; dysentery is a type of diarrhea that contains blood, pus, or mucus. An overactive thyroid is where the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, interfering with its normal functioning. Individuals caring for sick children or adults in any setting should carefully wash their hands after changing diapers, helping an individual use the bathroom, or assisting an individual around the home. Sugar alcohols are found in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and artificial flavorings. In some cases, there are no available cures for the underlying condition, but symptoms can be managed. These conditions include Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and IBS. Chronic diarrhea lasts longer than does acute diarrhea… Electrolyte solutions are available to prevent salt deficiency. People with UC often experience loose stools and diarrhea. Diabetic diarrhea can be a complication of diabetes. NOTE: If using remedies involving homeopathy, herbs, dietary and nutritional supplements, acupressure, aromatherapy, and other alternative or complementary methods, these products and techniques have not been scientifically proven to treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Unpasteurized (raw) milk may be contaminated with bacteria and should always be avoided. Always wash hands before and after handling food.

When loose stools occur consecutively on multiple occasions throughout a day, this is described as diarrhea. These can be warning signs of things like: Also, be sure to let your doctor know about your diarrhea if you have cancer, or have had recent treatment for it. It can come on suddenly, run its course, and be helped with home care to prevent complications such as dehydration. Loose stools can also be caused by diets high in: Viruses, bacteria or parasites can cause inflammation in the stomach and intestines.

Loose stools can have a range of different causes, but most cases are relatively harmless. Follow the advice of your doctor or health care professional. Most people will experience loose stools occasionally. Certain infections may cause diarrhea that may also be accompanied by bloody stools, fever and chills, lightheadedness and, If the person has the condition along with high fever, moderate-to-severe abdominal pain, or dehydration that cannot be managed by drinking fluids, If the diarrhea appears to contain blood (it may be bright red or may look like black, thick tar), If the person is sleepy and is not acting like their usual selves (others may notice this and take the person to the emergency department), Vomiting and inability to tolerate any food or to keep liquids down, High fever, significant abdominal pain, frequent loose bowel movements, or bloody diarrhea, If he or she is elderly or has serious underlying medical problems, particularly, A parent or caregiver needs advice about preventing dehydration in newborns and infants, Symptoms do not improve in two to three days or appear to become worse, If he or she develops diarrhea after travel within their home country, or foreign travel; or if a woman is pregnant. The skin of older people may appear to be loose. "Diarrhea." Certain plant leaves contain tannins that are considered to be diarrhea remedies. They are very common and are not usually associated with any severe health risks. Medications that one takes long-term may cause chronic diarrhea, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea. These fluids also contain necessary electrolytes lost with diarrhea. Nearly all antibiotics can cause antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Dehydration in children and toddlers can be a great concern.

Causes of diarrhea include viral and bacterial infections, as well as parasites, intestinal disorders or diseases (such as irritable bowel syndrome [IBS]), reactions to medications, and food intolerance. We include products we think are useful for our readers. . If the child retains the initial doses, increase the dose to 1 tablespoonful every 15 minutes until the diarrhea stops. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition affecting the digestive system. In some cases, it may become more severe. Abdominal pain, cramping, and other problems should begin to improve two to three days after the original episode of diarrhea. In healthy people with diarrhea, and who appear well otherwise, the health-care professional may elect to do no tests at all. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may cause loose stools and the diarrhea may last for up to three weeks after treatment ends. What Is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency? ©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. IV solutions will replace the lost fluids and electrolytes and often brings quick relief.

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