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Understanding Diarrhea -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?

The symptoms of diarrhea are:

  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Loose, watery stools
  • Urgency (having to go right away)
  • Incontinence (leakage of stool)
  • Bloating, gas
  • Rectal pain
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramping
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Fever
  • Blood or flecks of mucus in the stool
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss


Understanding Diarrhea

Call Your Doctor About Diarrhea if:

You have diarrhea for more than four days, or if you have diarrhea with any of the following:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Dark-black, foul-smelling stool that looks like tar (However, tell your doctor if you have been taking over-the-counter medications, such as Pepto-Bismol, which can also make the stool look darker than usual.)
  • Mucus passed with no stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Recent travel out of the country
  • Recent seafood consumption
  • Reason to believe that you have food poisoning
  • Family members who have similar illness


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on March 30, 2014

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