Last updated date: 13-Feb-2023

Originally Written in English

Diarrhea - no longer a taboo


    What is Diarrhea?

    Most healthy individuals open their bowels from three times per day to three times per week. Because the small intestine and colon are so effective at absorbing nutrients, liquid, and salts from the contents of the gut, normal feces are typically solid.

    When these processes are hampered, such as when bacteria or viruses harm the gut lining or when an excessive amount of fluid, such as water, is secreted into the colon and overwhelms the gut's capacity to reabsorb this fluid and salts, diarrhea results. More frequent bowel movements occur, and the stools become loose and watery. Additionally, diarrhea can be a sign of certain digestive tract illnesses. Acute, chronic, or persistent diarrhea are all possible: a frequent issue, acute diarrhea, lasts typically 1–2 days before clearing up on its own. However, diarrhea that persists for more than a few days or weeks is usually a sign of another issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or a more severe condition like persistent infection, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


    Diarrhea symptoms

    Diarrhea symptoms

    The following list includes possible signs and symptoms:

    • Diarrhea back pain: Lower back discomfort and diarrhea are frequent; however, they might not be connected. The two, nevertheless, might potentially be signs of more severe ailments. IBD, kidney infections, celiac disease, and others are a few conditions that can both produce diarrhea, kidney stones, and lower back pain.
    • Diarrhea and stomach pain: if a person has lately started experiencing diarrhea, stomach cramps, or diarrhea stomach pain, a stomach bug may be to blame (gastroenteritis). This indicates that the person has a stomach- and bowel-related viral or bacterial infection. After a few days, it is supposed to get better on its own. On the other hand, diarrhea without stomach pain is also possible.
    • Diarrhea and headache: typically, gastrointestinal problems are relieved by treating the headache. If a person develops headaches along with vomiting or diarrhea, he should consult a doctor.
    • Diarrhea and nausea: can be brought on by a variety of illnesses, although viral infections and food poisoning are the most frequent causes. Most of the time, a diarrhea home remedy works well. 
    • Diarrhea and fever.


    Types of diarrhea

    • Diarrhea with blood: Can diarrhea cause bleeding? Shigella bacteria and the parasite Entamoeba histolytica are the most typical causes of dysentery. These have the potential to bring on severe infections that can irritate the intestines to the point of bleeding.
    • Diarrhea with mucus: It can be brought on by a virus, food poisoning, food intolerance, IBS, IBD, hemorrhoids, or an inflammatory bowel condition.
    • Yellow diarrhea: Diarrhea of yellow liquid may indicate a liver or gallbladder problem. Giardiasis, an infection brought on by an intestinal parasite that can be acquired by drinking contaminated water, can manifest as a bright yellow watery stool.
    • Green diarrhea: Poop might turn green after consuming some meals or supplements. However, passing green stools could also have a medical explanation. Greenish-colored loose feces can be brought on by a virus or another stomach bug.
    • Black diarrhea: It is essential to treat black diarrhea with a slightly tarry consistency. While this stool type can be brought on by specific foods (such as black licorice), it can also be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding.
    • Chronic diarrhea: other factors than those that contribute to chronic diarrhea may produce acute and persistent diarrhea. Doctors are frequently unable to identify the source of diarrhea. Finding the cause is not usually necessary, as most diarrhea goes away on its own in 4 days.


    Which are Diarrhea causes?

    Diarrhea causes

    Some diarrhea reasons are:

    • Viruses: Norwalk virus, also known as the norovirus, enteric adenoviruses, astroviruses, cytomegaloviruses, and viral hepatitis, are some of the viruses that can cause diarrhea. The most typical cause of severe childhood diarrhea is rotavirus. GI symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, headache, and vomiting have also been linked to the virus that causes coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19).
    • Parasites and bacteria: Diarrhea results from exposure to parasites or harmful bacteria like E. coli through tainted food or drinks. In emerging nations, diarrhea brought on by bacteria and parasites is frequently referred to as traveler's diarrhea. Another type of bacterium that can cause diarrhea is Clostridioides difficile, generally referred to as C. diff. It can happen after an antibiotic course or while a person is in the hospital.
    • Medications: Numerous drugs, including antibiotics, might make someone dizzy. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria to treat infections, but they also eliminate beneficial bacteria. This upsets the normal bacterial balance in a person's intestines, which can cause diarrhea or an additional illness like C. diff. Anti-cancer medications and antacids containing magnesium are other medications that cause diarrhea.
    • Lactose intolerance: A sugar called lactose is present in milk and other dairy products. Lactose intolerance causes diarrhea after eating dairy products. Because levels of the enzyme that aids in the digestion of lactose decline as a person ages, lactose intolerance may worsen.
    • Fructose: Honey and fruits contain naturally occurring sugar fructose. It is occasionally used to sweeten various beverages. In those who struggle to digest it, fructose can cause diarrhea.
    • Synthetic sweeteners: Some otherwise healthy persons may get diarrhea after consuming the artificial sweeteners sorbitol, erythritol, and mannitol, which are non-absorbable sugars used in chewing gum and other sugar-free goods.
    • Surgery: Diarrhea gallbladder can occasionally result from surgery to remove the gallbladder or part of the intestine.
    • Anxiety: Similar to some drugs, pressure can make the contents of the intestine travel through the colon too quickly.
    • Overactive thyroid: The thyroid gland creates hormones that impact how the body responds, such as controlling temperature or heart rate. The body may 'run' too quickly if the thyroid generates too many hormones, resulting in diarrhea, among other symptoms. A general practitioner can identify an overactive thyroid using a quick blood test.
    • Further stomach issues: IBS, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are only a few of the additional reasons for chronic diarrhea (SIBO).
    • Diarrhea from alcohol: Diarrhea after drinking is caused because alcohol quickens the pace of these squeezes, which prevents water from being absorbed by the colon as it would otherwise. The stool will emerge as diarrhea, as a result, frequently, exceptionally quickly, and with a lot of excess water.


    Is Diarrhea contagious?

    Viral, bacterial, and parasite diseases are the most frequent causes of contagious diarrhea. Infectious diarrheal diseases can spread from person to person because they are contagious. The fecal-oral pathway is commonly used to spread diarrheal diseases.


    Diarrhea and Pregnancy


    Is diarrhea a sign of pregnancy? Is diarrhea a symptom of pregnancy?

    Diarrhea and pregnancy

    One of the undesirable discomforts that may occur is diarrhea during pregnancy. Having three or more loose or liquid bowel motions in a day is considered to have diarrhea, a condition that literally means "flowing through". Staying hydrated should be a person's top priority if the person has three runny, watery bowel motions in one day. Dehydration can be dangerous and even fatal. It is recommended to drink a lot of water and stay away from soda and caffeine. Although diarrhea is rarely deadly, it should never be ignored, especially while pregnant. Even though it is not a symptom of early pregnancy, a person can have diarrhea in early pregnancy or other digestive problems in the first trimester. Early on in a person's pregnancy, the person's body begins to undergo many changes that may have an impact on the individual bowel motions and cause either firm or loose stools. Hormones can slow down a person's digestion, which might occasionally result in diarrhea. 


    Diarrhea as an early pregnancy symptom

    Every pregnant woman experiences these hormonal changes, but some of these can cause early-pregnancy diarrhea in some women. Diarrhea can also be brought on by viral or bacterial infections.

    What causes Diarrhea during pregnancy?

    A person could make abrupt dietary adjustments when the person first gets pregnant to make sure that the unborn child is receiving the nutrients they require. Changes in a person's diet can occasionally result in upsetting the stomach.

    Hormonal changes during pregnancy are another reason for diarrhea. It's possible for hormones to slow down digestion, which might occasionally result in diarrhea. Every pregnant woman experiences these hormonal changes, but some of these can cause early-onset diarrhea in some women.


    Diarrhea during pregnancy. Is diarrhea a sign of labor?

    Diarrhea and pregnancy

    • Diarrhea during pregnancy - 2nd semester: During pregnancy, diarrhea can be brought on by hormonal changes, gastrointestinal infections, or underlying bowel diseases. It is advised to speak with a doctor if diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours.
    • Diarrhea - 37 weeks pregnant: Diarrhea could be a superficial symptom of pregnancy at 37 weeks, or it could be diarrhea before labor. That's because the hormones can stimulate bowels as they shift to prepare for delivery.
    • Diarrhea 39 weeks pregnant: As a result of the extensive stretching a person's muscles underwent throughout labor and delivery, a person's body has begun to indicate that it is time to unwind. These signals also have an impact on an individual digestive muscle, and all that relaxation may result in diarrhea as food travels through a person's intestines more quickly than usual.


    Diarrhea on period

    Each month, right before the start of menstruation, fatty chemicals called prostaglandins start to relax the uterine lining-shedding smooth muscle tissues. However, prostaglandins can also affect a person's bowels, leading to diarrhea combined with the period.


    Can diarrhea cause dehydration?

    Dehydration can also result from vomiting and diarrhea. In a short period, severe, acute diarrhea can result in a significant loss of electrolytes and water.



    • Diarrhea of the mouth: People who fear quiet are often affected by it, and salespeople are particularly susceptible. They feel compelled to introduce a new or continuous stream of speech whenever a conversation reaches a standstill. It is not a significant deal in a social context.
    • Diarrhea miscarriage: Pregnant women may experience diarrhea during a healthy pregnancy for several reasons, including adjusting to a healthy pregnancy diet. Diarrhea is not always a sign that something is wrong with a pregnancy.
    • Diarrhea that burns: Because diarrhea speeds up the digestive process, meals frequently don't entirely digest. This means that diarrhea may still contain stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and bile. During or after a bowel movement, they can harm the tissues and cause a burning feeling in the rectum.
    • Diarrhea on keto: The gastrointestinal (GI) system might suffer significantly when someone changes their eating habits, according to health professionals. As a result, while their gut microbiomes adjust to the eating plan, some people experience unpleasant symptoms, including nausea and exhaustion, sometimes known as the "keto flu." Others, however, still experience stomach issues after starting a diet. The body needs to put in a lot of effort to break down fat, and some people aren't used to metabolizing the quantity of fat included in the keto diet.
    • Diarrhea newborn: Baby diarrhea typically doesn't linger very long. It is typically brought on by a virus and goes away on its own. The infant may also experience diarrhea if: there is a change in the mother's diet, if she is breastfeeding, or if there is a change in the baby's food. Other causes could be the usage of antibiotics by the mother while breastfeeding or the presence of microbes. 
    • Diarrhea ICD 10: ICD-10 code R19. 7 for diarrhea, unspecified falls under the category of Symptoms, Signs, and Abnormal Clinical and Laboratory Findings, Not Elsewhere Classified, according to the WHO.


    Diarrhea treatment - how to help diarrhea

    Diarrhea treatment

    The majority of acute diarrhea cases resolve on their own in a few days without diarrhea medicine. A person's doctor may suggest diarrhea medicine or other therapies if they have tried lifestyle modifications and home cures for diarrhea without success.

    • Antibiotics or parasiticides: Diarrhea brought on by bacteria or parasites may be treated with antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs. Antibiotics won't help if diarrhea is caused by a virus.
    • Therapy to replenish lost fluids: Most likely, the doctor will suggest replenishing the salts and fluids. Although, for most adults, this involves consuming juice, broth, or water with electrolytes. The doctor might advise receiving fluids if consuming liquids bothers the stomach or makes one throw up. Water is a fantastic way to replenish lost fluids, but it is devoid of salts and electrolytes, which are minerals like sodium and potassium that the body needs to function. By consuming soups for salt or fruit drinks for potassium, a person can assist manage their electrolyte levels. However, some fruit liquids, such as apple juice, may aggravate diarrhea. To avoid dehydration or to replenish lost fluids in children, it is recommended to talk to the doctor about using an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte.
    • Diarrhea medicine: Loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate are two over-the-counter anti-diarrheal drugs that may help lessen frequent diarrhea and manage severe symptoms. These drugs can make some illnesses and parasitic and bacterial infections worse because they stop the body from eliminating the source of diarrhea. For youngsters, several of these drugs are not advised. 
    • Probiotics: Although it is unclear if they can shorten an episode of diarrhea, these microorganisms may help restore a healthy balance to the intestinal system by increasing the number of good bacteria. Probiotics are available in liquid or capsule form, and some foods, such as some varieties of yogurt, also contain them naturally. To further understand which bacterial strains or dosages are required, more research is needed.


    Diarrhea diet or what can I eat with diarrhea?

    A person should consume plenty of liquids, such as water, broth, and juices, while avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

    As the bowel motions become regular again, an individual should gradually introduce semisolid and low-fiber foods. A person should try soda crackers, toast, eggs, rice, or chicken as a substitute for specific foods like dairy products, fatty foods, foods heavy in fiber, or dishes with a lot of seasoning for a few days.


    Diarrhea for two days

    In most cases, acute diarrhea lasts one to two days. It occasionally lasts for up to two weeks. The majority of the time, this kind of diarrhea is minor and goes away on its own.


    Diarrhea 4 days

    Different factors than those that contribute to chronic diarrhea may produce acute and persistent diarrhea. Doctors frequently are unable to identify the source of diarrhea. Finding the cause is not usually important because the majority of diarrhea goes away on its own in 4 days.


    Diarrhea for a week

    Diarrhea that persists for more than a few days or weeks is typically a sign of another issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or a more severe condition such as chronic infection, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


    Diarrhea every morning

    Regular morning diarrhea might be a symptom of a much more severe problem. Some of the following typical behaviors are examples of lifestyle decisions that could result in morning diarrhea:

    • Cigarette smoking: nicotine can result in loose stools. If someone smokes before bed or first thing in the morning, morning diarrhea may result.
    • Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol might also result in loose stools. Alcohol abuse the previous evening may be the cause of morning diarrhea.
    • Midnight snacking: Getting up in the middle of the night to eat or snack before bed can result in morning diarrhea.
    • Excessive coffee consumption: Caffeine causes more bowel movements. Morning diarrhea may result from drinking too much coffee.
    • Large meal consumption: Eating a substantial breakfast soon after waking up may overstimulate the bowels and result in morning diarrhea.


    Conclusion- What is important to remember about Diarrhea?


    The medical word for passing watery, loose stools at least three times a day is diarrhea. Longer-lasting diarrhea may have distinct causes and, as a result, may need different treatments. Additionally, diarrhea can be a sign of certain digestive tract illnesses.

    Acute diarrhea symptoms appear rapidly and typically go away in five to ten days. When diarrhea lasts more than four weeks, it is considered chronic (long-lasting), and a doctor should always look into the cause. 

    Chronic diarrhea is defined as having it for more than a few days and may indicate an infection or inflammatory bowel disease as an underlying issue.

    In certain situations, diarrhea may result in dehydration and call for medical attention. For example, dehydration results when the human body loses too much fluid and electrolytes. The body needs to restore the fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhea since it cannot operate normally without them.

    The three most frequent culprits for diarrhea are viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Other contributing factors include artificial sweeteners, antibiotics that upset the average balance of bacteria in the intestines, and lactose.

    Some symptoms include diarrhea, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, back pain, stomach pain, and fever. Some women may experience diarrhea while pregnant or in labor. Diarrhea is not a pregnancy symptom, but it can appear while pregnant. Women may also experience diarrhea when they have their period.

    There are a lot of types of diarrhea, such as yellow diarrhea, green diarrhea, black diarrhea, diarrhea with blood and diarrhea with mucus.

    While having diarrhea a person should experiment with foods like soda, crackers, toast, eggs, rice, and chicken while avoiding dairy products, fatty foods, foods high in fiber, and dishes with heavy seasoning. The introduction of semisolid and low-fiber foods should be done gradually when the bowel movements return to normal. For a few days, a person should consider substituting chicken, toast, eggs, rice, or soda crackers for particular items such as dairy products, fatty foods, foods high in fiber, or dishes with a lot of seasoning.

    Diarrhea can be treated with home remedies or medical remedies like probiotics, antibiotics or parasiticides, anti-diarrheal drugs, and therapy to replenish lost fluids.