Diarrhea: What You Need To Know When You Gotta Go
When you have diarrhea, your bowel movements (stools) are loose and watery. It’s very common and usually not serious.
Many people get diarrhea once or twice each year. It typically lasts two to three days, and you can treat it with over-the-counter medicines. Some people have diarrhea more often as part of irritable bowel syndrome or other conditions.
Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders
It is possible that the main title of the report Proctitis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
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What Are the Symptoms?
What Are the Symptoms?
You may have:
Bloating in your belly
Thin or loose stools
An urgent feeling that you need to have a bowel movement
Nausea and vomiting
More serious symptoms include:
Blood, mucus, or undigested food in the stool
If you have watery stools more than three times a day and you are not drinking enough fluids, you could become dehydrated. That can cause serious complications if it's not treated.
What Causes Diarrhea?
Usually, diarrhea is caused by a virus that infects the gut. Some people call it "intestinal flu" or "stomach flu."
Other causes include:
Allergies to certain foods
Diseases of the intestines (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
Eating foods that upset the digestive system
Infection by bacteria (the cause of most types of food poisoning) or other organisms
Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
Running (Some people get “runner’s diarrhea” for reasons that aren’t clear)
Surgery on your digestive system
Trouble absorbing certain nutrients, also called “malabsorption”
Diarrhea may also follow constipation, especially for people who have irritable bowel syndrome.
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
Blood in your diarrhea or black, tarry stools
A fever that is high (above 101 F) or that lasts more than 24 hours
Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
Nausea or vomiting that prevents you from drinking liquids to replace lost fluids
Severe pain in your abdomen or rectum
Diarrhea upon returning from travel to a foreign country
Also, call your doctor right away if you have diarrhea and any of these signs of dehydration:
Smaller than usual amounts of urine or fewer wet diapers than usual in a child
Rapid heart rate