Diarrhea is not an illness -- it is itself a symptom. However, it may be accompanied by a number of other symptoms. Diarrhea may occur with such things as nausea, bloating, fever, and cramp-like abdominal pain (or stomach pain). Although diarrhea is not usually serious, it can lead to dehydration or be a sign of a serious health problem. If you have blood in the stool, a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or are showing signs of dehydration, see a healthcare provider.
Diarrhea is a not an illness; it is a symptom, similar to the way fever is a symptom. Depending on the cause of diarrhea, other symptoms may or may not accompany it. So when someone asks, "What are diarrhea symptoms?" he or she is most likely interested in the other symptoms that may come along with diarrhea.
While diarrhea is extremely common, many people are not familiar with its formal definition. Diarrhea is defined as loose, watery, unformed stools occurring more than three times in one day. People with diarrhea may pass more than a quart of stool a day. Diarrhea is not the occasional loose stool or the frequent passing of formed stools.
Diarrhea may be accompanied by a number of other symptoms. These symptoms can help your healthcare provider diagnose the cause of diarrhea. Symptoms that may be present with diarrhea include:
- Crampy abdominal pain (or stomach pain)
- An urgent need to use the bathroom
- An inability to control the bowels (fecal incontinence)
- Feeling sick to the stomach
- Muscle aches or pain
- Low heart rate
- Joint pain
- Alternating constipation
- Blood in stool
- Mucus in stool.