When Diarrhea Is More Serious Than You Think

Diarrhea is a typical digestive problem characterized by bowel movements being looser than usual, waterier than expected, and perhaps more frequently than usual. It may occur by itself or with other signs like nausea, lack of appetite, and vomiting. Fortunately, diarrhea does not usually persist for more than one or two days. Diarrhea that lasts more than a few days could indicate some other issue, like IBS, also known as an irritable intestinal syndrome, a chronic illness, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD). Diarrhea is classified in many different ways.

This type of diarrhea comprises

The most common type of acute diarrhea can be described as one that is watery and lasts only two or three days. It is rare to survive more than a few days and is often controlled without treatment. The length of this type of diarrhea can range from a day to four weeks.

Constant loose stool − Chronic diarrhea can be defined as diarrhea that lasts longer than four days or is not intermittent and persists for an extended duration.

The Faces (stool) could be of any color you prefer. The food you consume may affect the color of your feces. It is not usually something to worry about. However, if you find blood in your stool or have a black bowel motion, that could be a sign of a more severe illness. Be sure to record any bowel movements that −

  • Comprise a blackness that resembles tar.

  • It includes pus or blood.

  • Always greasy or oily, even after eating healthy foods.

  • Smells terrible.


Diarrhea can result from many medical conditions that, include −

  • Viruses − Numerous different viruses, such as those that cause Norwalk virus (commonly called norovirus) as well as enteric adenoviruses. Astroviruses (also known as cytomegaloviruses), Hepatitis viruses can cause diarrhea. Rotavirus often causes children who suffer from acute diarrhea. Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea are all gastrointestinal symptoms connected to the 2019 coronavirus, which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

  • Mainly, parasites and bacteria − Diarrhea can be caused by drinking or eating anything infected with harmful bacteria such as E-coli or parasites. Parasites cause the onset of diarrhea and microbes and are often referred to as "traveler's diarrhea" while travelling to a developing country. Diarrhea caused due to Clostridioides (C. diff) is a different kind of bacteria that may grow following antibiotics or in a hospital.

  • Medications − Antibiotics are merely one of the examples of a class of drugs that can cause diarrhea. Antibiotics aid in preventing illnesses by eliminating harmful bacteria that cause the problem, but they also kill beneficial bacteria helping to keep the infection at bay. They disrupt the intestinal flora as well as fauna. This can result in diarrhea or a superimposed disease. Anti-cancer medications and magnesium-containing antacids are two different kinds of medicines that can cause diarrhea.

  • The inability to digest lactose − The dairy products like milk and cheese are made up of a sugar called lactose. For those with digestive issues that aren't able to handle lactose, eating dairy products can cause diarrhea. Since the enzyme required to digest lactose diminishes with age, lactose intolerance may worsen. Hence, if one suffers from it, a cut on the use of dairy products can help control this condition.

  • Fructose − Honey and fruit contain fructose. It is a form of sugar that naturally occurs. In some instances, it's utilized to enhance the sweetness of drinks. Diarrhea sufferers who are not tolerant may have to suffer after drinking fructose.

  • Substitute sugars and flavors − Some healthy people may experience diarrhea after consuming artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, mannitol or erythritol, which are sugars that cannot be absorbed easily.

  • Surgery − Surgery to remove a part of the intestine or gallbladder may result in diarrhea.

  • Conditions of the digestive system that do not fall within the categories above include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colon celiac disease, microscopically colitis, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. These are all possible causes that lead to watery stools.

Diarrhea is a typical result of many procedures performed near or on the digestive tract. It usually goes away in its own time within a couple of days; however, if it continues to persist and continues to linger, you should consult a physician. Researchers explained that when we eliminate the part of the gut responsible for water absorption, whether it's the small or large bowel, we may suffer from diarrhea. The expansion of microorganisms in the small intestine may cause diarrhea. Various surgical procedures stimulate this. Furthermore, as the bile salts can irritate the colon, causing water to enter the colon's lumen, gallbladder removal could cause diarrhea.

While it's not common, it is true that some sufferers with spring allergies also experience diarrhea along with the more usual symptoms, such as itching eyes, watery eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, and wheezing. According to experts, diarrhea, is an uncommonly rare seasonal allergy symptom. If symptoms are present throughout the year, it's likely because of an allergy to any substance in the surrounding environment. Experts recommended trying antihistamines if previously tried treatments for diarrhea were not effective.


When your physician suspects an underlying issue is the reason for diarrhea in your body, he will treat diarrhea in addition to other symptoms. Diarrhea can also be caused by medical ailments like Crohn's disease, celiac, and ulcerative colitis. Ulcers or sores in the colon's inner lining may result from ulcerative colitis, which can lead to abdominal pain and diarrhea. Researchers identified Crohn's disease as "chronic swelling of the digestive organs" with symptoms that include diarrhea and abdominal discomfort, stool blood, and anemia. It can also cause losing weight and experiencing fever. Gluten-intolerant people can develop celiac disease by consuming products containing gluten, which is the protein in the grains of wheat, as well as rye and barley. Gluten can cause harm to the small intestines of those with celiac disease. It causes damage to the intestinal lining. This can affect the absorption of nutrients and water, which can cause diarrhea and anemia, weight loss, osteoporosis, and other extra-intestinal and intestinal symptoms.

Updated on: 02-Feb-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started