How much do you know about diarrhea?
Diarrhea is loose, watery stools. Everyone has it twice or three times each year. When it lasts for one or two days, it is usually not a serious problem.
But in some cases of more than a few days, it may be the symptom of some conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Symptoms of diarrhea
- Loose, watery stools
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Blood in the stool
- Urgent need to have a bowel movement
The most common causes of diarrhea
- Alcohol abuse
- Allergies to certain foods
- Bacteria and parasites
- Lactose intolerance
- Fructose or Artificial sweeteners
- Other digestive disorders
When to see you doctor
When you have the following conditions, your diarrhea is worth your serious attention.
- Blood in your diarrhea or black stools
- A fever that is high (above 101 F) or that lasts more than 24 hours
- Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
- Severe pain in your abdomen or rectum
- Excessive thirst
- Dry skin
- Weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
The treatments should vary with the causes of your diarrhea. Call your doctor right away if you have the symptoms above.
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