Posted September 24, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read

Diarrhea is very common, happening in most people a few times each year. When you have diarrhea, your stool will be loose and watery. In most cases, the cause is unknown and it goes away on its own after a few days. Diarrhea can be caused by bacteria. Dehydration is a dangerous side effect of diarrhea.

Causes of Diarrhea

  • Infection by bacteria.

  • Infections by other organisms and pre-formed toxins

  • Eating foods that upset the digestive system.

  • Allergies and intolerances to certain foods (Celiac disease or lactose intolerance).

  • Medications.

  • Radiation therapy.

  • Malabsorption of food (poor absorption).

Symptoms of Diarrhea

  • Bloating or cramps in the abdomen.

  • A strong and urgent need to have a bowel movement.

  • Nausea (upset stomach).

  • Fever.

  • Weight loss.

  • Dehydration.

  • Severe pain.

  • Vomiting.

  • Blood.

Diagnosis of Diarrhea

These tests can include the following

  • Discussing a detailed family history, as well as physical and medical conditions, your travel history, and any sick contacts you may have.

  • Doing a stool test on a collected stool sample to check for blood, bacterial infections, parasite and inflammatory markers.

  • Doing a breath test to check for lactose or fructose intolerance, and bacterial overgrowth.

  • Doing blood work to rule out medical causes of diarrhea such as a thyroid disorder, celiac sprue and pancreatic disorders.

  • Doing endoscopic evaluations of your upper and lower digestive tract to rule out organic abnormalities (ulcers, infections, neoplastic process).

Treatment of Diarrhea


Your healthcare provider might prescribe an antibiotic or other medication to treat an infection or parasite that’s causing the diarrhea.

Medication for a specific condition

Diarrhea can be a sign of several other medical conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, microscopic colitis, or bacterial overgrowth. Once the cause of the diarrhea is identified, diarrhea can usually be controlled.


Groupings of good bacteria, probiotics are sometimes used to re-establish a healthy biome to combat diarrhea. Introducing probiotics can be helpful in some cases and some healthcare providers feel that it’s worth a try. Always talk to your provider before starting a probiotic or any kind of supplement.

diseases disorders diarrhea

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