Understanding Diarrhea -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is defined as loose or watery stools at increased frequency. Other associated symptoms may include the following:


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 or without stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain or frequent small quantity stools with straining
  • 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 Sabrina Felson, MD on 7/, 017


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.



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