More about what causes diarrhea
Typically, diarrhea should only last for a few days. It is unusual when diarrhea is more persistent and lasts longer than 48 hours.
Common causes of diarrhea
The most common causes of diarrhea can include a viral or bacterial infection.
Viral infection: When a viral infection is present, symptoms typically include multiple occurrences of watery stools, stomach pain, and a low fever. However, these symptoms typically last 3 - 7 days. Common causes of a viral infection include
- Rotavirus – most commonly found in infants
- Norovirus – often found in adults and school-aged children
- Adenovirus – found in all ages
Bacterial infection: This is considered a more severe case. Typically, this infection is caused by consuming contaminated food or beverages. This infection can cause symptoms of vomiting, fever, and stomach pain. Frequent watery stool that is often known as “explosive diarrhea” and gas.
Parasites: Often caused by consuming contaminated water. Parasites can cause infections in the digestive tract.
Medication reactions: Taking antibiotics, medications for cancer, gout, weight loss, and blood pressure and antacids can all cause diarrhea.
Intestinal disease or disorders: This can include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, microscopic colitis, diverticulitis, and malabsorption (issues digesting food). Typically, these disorders cause yellow stools.
Some forms of cancer: Specific types of cancer, including pheochromocytoma, pancreatic, thyroid carcinoma, lymphoma, carcinoid syndrome, and colon cancer may have diarrhea as a symptom. Chemotherapy and radiation can also can cause diarrhea for up to three weeks after treatment is finished.
Symptoms that occur with diarrhea
Along with diarrhea other symptoms often occur
- Stomach pain
Doctors advise patients to stay hydrated during a bout with diarrhea and avoid solid foods. Typically, diarrhea goes away without treatment within 48 hours. Diarrhea usually causes a few days of unwanted discomfort. If diarrhea lasts longer or becomes severe, there could be an underlying condition. Listed below are more serious side effects
- Bloody stools
- Tarry or black stools
- High fever
- Stomach or rectal pain