Diarrhea Home > Diarrhea Causes

In the case of diarrhea, causes of the ailment may include certain infections and parasites. Other possible causes include certain medications, medical conditions (such as Crohn's disease or diabetes), and travel to developing countries. The most common cause of acute diarrhea is viral gastroenteritis -- also known as "the stomach flu." Lactose intolerance or other food intolerances can also lead to this condition.

What Causes Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a common ailment familiar to everyone. It is characterized by several changes in stool, including an increased frequency, looseness, and volume.
Diarrhea is caused by an increase in water content in the stool. This can be the result of any one of the following:
  • Increased fluid moving from the body into the intestines
  • Decreased fluid absorption from the intestines
  • Changes in the speed in which things move through the intestines.
However, for most people, this is of little significance. Diarrhea is diarrhea; so bypassing the physiology for now, we will look at specific causes. In this article, we will discuss the causes of two types of diarrhea: acute diarrhea and chronic diarrhea. Acute diarrhea improves within two weeks. Chronic diarrhea that lasts longer than two weeks.

Causes of Acute Diarrhea

A few of the more common causes of acute diarrhea include:
  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Medicines
  • Functional bowel disorder.
Acute diarrhea can also be caused by anything that causes chronic diarrhea since, by definition, acute diarrhea lasts less than two weeks.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2020 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.