Digestive System

Lower Gastrointestinal Tract

What are some common causes of diarrhea?

Diarrhea, which is frequent, loose, watery bowel movements, may be caused by infections or other intestinal disorders. Diarrhea may be associated with both bacterial and viral infections. Common bacteria, such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Escherichia coli, consumed in contaminated food and/or water will cause diarrhea. Many viruses cause diarrhea, including rotavirus, Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and viral hepatitis. In addition to bacterial and viral infections, parasites, including Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cryptosporidium, may enter the body through food and water and cause diarrhea. Several disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and side effects of medication may also cause diarrhea. Most cases of diarrhea often resolve themselves without medical intervention. It is important to prevent dehydration by replacing fluids and electrolytes. It is usually recommended to avoid milk products, greasy foods, very sweet foods, and foods that are high in fiber until the diarrhea has subsided. Bland foods may then be slowly reintroduced to the diet.


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