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What is diarrhea?

What is diarrhea?
What is diarrhea?
Causes of diarrhea

People of all ages can get diarrhea and the average adult has a bout of acute diarrhea about four times a year. But what is diarrhea? And when does it threaten your health?

What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is medically defined as loose, watery stools. A person experiencing diarrhea usually passes more than a quart of stool, three times or more in one day. Cramps, bloating, nausea and an urgent need to have a bowel movement are also characteristic of the condition.

Normally, food remains in liquid form during digestion. When unabsorbed food residue passes through your colon, most fluids are absorbed. What remains is a semisolid stool. During a case of diarrhea, food and fluids pass too quickly or in too large an amount - or both - through the large intestine. Fluids cannot be absorbed well enough by the large intestine, and the result is a watery bowel movement. In addition, during diarrhea, the lining of the large intestine may be inflamed, making it less able to absorb fluids.

Acute diarrhea
Acute diarrhea is a common problem that usually lasts 1 or 2 days and goes away on its own without special treatment. This condition is characterized by an increased number of stools or looser form than is customary for the patient, lasting less than 2 weeks. Acute diarrhea is often associated with abdominal symptoms such as cramping, bloating, and gas. Although often mild, acute diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration as a result of large fluid and electrolyte losses, especially in children.

Chronic diarrhea
Prolonged diarrhea can persist for more than 2 days and may be a sign of a more serious problem. Specifically, diarrhea that lasts more than two weeks is called chronic diarrhea. It is important to notice if the diarrhea stools are bloody, oily (fatty) or watery, which can help your doctor arrive at the most likely cause of your symptoms. Longer period of diarrhea poses the risk of dehydration. Chronic diarrhea may be a feature of a chronic disease.

Now that we better understand diarrhea, what causes the condition? To learn more about common reasons for diarrhrea, read on. The next section on Ear Infection Symptoms reviews diarrhea causes.

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Tags: chronic diarrhea, acute diarrhea, Diarrhea, large intestine, ear infection, intestine, infection, treatment, symptoms, addition, chronic, average, nausea, absorb, cramps, period, fluids, food, gas, ear
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