Parasites can enter the body through food or water and settle in the digestive system. Those that cause diarrhea include:
- Giardia lamblia -- A possible contaminant of drinking water, Giardia is also a common cause of diarrhea in homosexual men.
- Entamoeba histolytica -- This parasite is transmitted by fecal contamination of drinking water and foods, but also by direct contact with dirty hands or objects, as well as by sexual contact.
- Cryptosporidium -- This parasite can be transmitted on any food touched by a contaminated food handler. Incidence is higher in child daycare centers that serve food. Fertilizing salad vegetables with manure is another possible source of human infection. Large outbreaks are associated with contaminated water supplies.
Many types of medicines can cause diarrhea. Some of these medicines include:
Other substances that may cause this condition include:
- Herbal teas.
Sugar-free gum and mints are also potential causes.
The functional condition that most often results in acute diarrhea is anxiety.
Causes of Chronic DiarrheaThere are many causes of chronic diarrhea. In fact, some of the things that cause acute diarrhea can also lead to chronic diarrhea. Specific causes include:
- Functional bowel conditions
- Certain tumors
- Malabsorption conditions
- Certain forms of surgery
- Certain medical conditions
Sometimes, the cause of chronic diarrhea remains unknown. As long as diarrhea goes away on its own, an extensive search for the cause is not usually necessary.