Stools and Diarrhea

Buttock Rectum | Gastroenterology | Stools and Diarrhea (Symptom)


Removing more than 3 soft, watery stools per day it is called acute diarrhea. Removal of only two loose stools a day and subsequent resumption of normal transit is a common problem and should not need any treatment. Acute diarrhea can be a sign for other diseases and must be seriously treated. Patients with diarrhea can lose large amounts of aqueous fluid through several stools which can lead to dehydration and can shortly disturbance the homeostasis - the balance necessary to normal body function. Dehydration has serious implications and it is gravity is highest in young children and old people, situations that can cause serious disorders.

Diarrhea is a condition or a symptom that can occur at any age. In adults it occurs on average about 4 times a year.

Diarrhea is known to change rural people, especially those who travel the country and change the water and a diet such as their possible contamination with bacteria, viruses or parasites. Also travelling in underdeveloped countries can cause the same troubles.


Diarrhea can be caused by a temporary problem such as a self-limiting intercurrent infection - acute diarrhea, or it can be a chronic problem due to a severe intestinal disease - chronic diarrhea. Some of the causes of diarrhea could be: the bacterial infection of the digestive tract, due to the contamination of the food or drinking water strains such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Escherichia coli; viral infection. Many viruses are causing diarrhea such as cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and hepatitis. The most commonly virus which is involved in causing diarrhea is rotavirus.

Food intolerance can also cause diarrhea, a common example being lactose, a carbohydrate component of milk. Parasitic causes involve parasites that can contaminate water and food, thus infecting the digestive tract. The most common parasites that are involved are: Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptosporidium; different drugs such as antibiotics, antihypertensives, antacids containing magnesium.

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as irritable bowel and other conditions can also affect normal bowel functionality. Other possible causes of diarrhea may be the surgery on the stomach, cholecystectomy, colon surgery, procedures that can induce disturbances in food digestion.