Know the Symptoms of Diarrhea and When to See a Doctor

The stool is a normal part of your life, whether you call it going to the bathroom, having a bowel movement, or pooping. However, your body's method of eliminating waste can occasionally change. Diarrhoea is the medical term for having loose or watery stools. This ailment is extremely prevalent and typically goes away on its own.

Numerous factors might cause diarrhoea, which often clears up in one to three days. You could urgently run to the bathroom when you have diarrhoea, which might happen more frequently than usual. Additionally, you can feel bloated, have lower stomach cramps, and occasionally feel queasy.


The cause of self-limited diarrhoea is typically unknown. The most known cause of diarrhoea is a virus that affects your bowels (viral gastroenteritis). The illness, which might last a few days, is occasionally called "intestinal flu."

Diarrhoea may also result from the following factors −

  • bacterial infection

  • additional microbes infecting you and toxins that are already created

  • eating things that hurt your stomach

  • Intolerances and allergies to particular foods (Celiac disease or lactose intolerance)

  • Medications

  • The use of radiation

  • Malabsorptive eating (poor absorption)


If someone has diarrhoea, different symptoms may manifest themselves in him, which may vary according to the severity of their diarrhoea, how mild it is, and the cause of their diarrhoea. There is a correlation between one's severity of diarrhoea and the presence of a condition that requires medical attention.

One may experience all of these signs and symptoms of diarrhoea or a few of them. The most apparent symptom of diarrhoea is bowel movements that are loose or watery.

Other signs of mild diarrhoea can consist of the following −

  • Abdomen-related bloating or pain.

  • An intense urge to urinate must be satisfied immediately.

  • Nausea (upset stomach).

These signs and symptoms could appear if someone has severe diarrhoea −

  • Fever

  • Lose weight

  • Dehydration

  • Hurting a lot

  • Vomiting

  • Blood

Significant consequences might arise from severe diarrhoea. If that’s the case one should consult the doctor immediately. In case of any of these symptoms the doctor can find the cause and help one recover quickly.


Even though having the occasional case of diarrhoea is typical and not harmful, it may lead to dehydration. It may also be a sign of an illness that is more serious or an infection.

If someone suffers from any of the following signs, they should see a doctor straight away −

  • more than two days of constant diarrhoea

  • diarrhoea, as well as a body temperature of 102 degrees F or higher

  • six or more loose stools within 24 hours

  • severe, excruciating pain in the rectum or abdomen

  • Stools that are pus-filled, bloody, or black and tarry

  • frequent vomiting together with diarrhoea

  • indications of dehydration

Any of these symptoms in infants, toddlers, or young children, as well as diarrhoea lasting longer than 24 hours, should be taken seriously and one must visit a doctor.

Diarrhoea Tests

In a few days, most cases of diarrhoea resolve on their own. To administer the appropriate medication when diarrhoea persists for an extended period, tests are required to determine the cause.

A visit to the doctor for diarrhoea will include a physical examination, a complete discussion of your medical history, and a review of your current prescriptions. In addition to it, by carefully palpating your abdomen, a doctor may also check the condition of your rectal health.

Acute diarrhoea may also be tested using the following methods −

  • Pee Test − This may be advised to determine whether one has a parasite or bacterial infection. A medical professional will provide patients with containers to collect and keep their stool samples and instructions on where to send or take the containers for testing.

  • A blood test − A complete blood count can show signs of an infection, anaemia, inflammation, or electrolyte imbalances to help determine the cause of the diarrhoea. The doctor may recommend more tests, if the diarrhoea is persistent or there are some worrying symptoms, such as bleeding.

  • Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy − Both tests use a lit tube with a camera. Following a particular diet the day before the procedure and frequently abstaining from solid foods and liquids after midnight on the night before the procedure are requirements for a colonoscopy. To cleanse the colon, one will need to utilise an enema kit, a laxative in pill or liquid form, or both. The camera gives the surgeon a picture of the interior of the entire colon so he may check for any irregularities as the tube is inserted into the rectum during the sedation-needed surgery. Right-up arrow Similar to an endoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy examines the lower part of the colon and the rectum.

  • Breath test for hydrogen − The amount of hydrogen in the breath is measured during this test to identify lactose intolerance. Undigested lactose causes lactose intolerance, which results in excessive quantities of hydrogen in the breath. The test involves inhaling into a balloon-shaped container to measure breath hydrogen levels following a beverage with a known amount of lactose. Lactose intolerance will be identified if the hydrogen level is high.

  • The Fasting Test − Doing so can determine whether a food allergy or intolerance causes to diarrhoea. To determine whether the dietary changes positively affect the diarrhoea symptoms, the doctor may advise the patient to stop eating certain foods, such as dairy, wheat, carbs, or other substances.


Diarrhoea is a common symptom of different ailments. Food poisoning, viruses, and infections can cause it. While you may not experience any other symptoms, depending on the cause and severity of your condition, diarrhoea can be dangerous if not treated and monitored by a doctor. To avoid dehydration and other serious side effects, you should talk with a doctor about your diarrhoea. If you do experience diarrhoea, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and follow the instructions given by the expert.