Diarrhea – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses

Diarrhea – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses


By Dr. Chetan B. Mahajan , Gastroenterology

Diarrhea is a common condition which is characterized by watery and loose stools. The symptoms of this disease usually last for 3-4 days. In severe cases, it may last for 2-3 weeks. Diarrhea may also hint at other underlying health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

The symptoms of diarrhea are:

  • Cramps in the abdominal region
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Signs of fever
  • Presence of blood in your stool
  • You may feel thirsty due to the constant dehydration

The various causes of diarrhea are:

  1. Medications: Some medications such as antibiotics upset the balance of bacteria in the stomach, thus resulting in infections. These infections may result in diarrhea.
  2. Virus: Specific viruses like the cytomegalovirus, rotavirus and Norwalk virus can cause this disease.
  3. Parasites and Bacteria: If you eat contaminated food, then you may get affected by parasites such as cryptosporidium. Bacteria like E.coli and Shigella also cause diarrhea in the body.
  4. Trouble Digesting Fructose: If you have trouble digesting fructose which is a sugar found in fruits, then it may result in diarrhea.
  5. Surgery: Surprisingly, certain surgeries such as abdominal surgery may also lead to diarrhea.


The diagnosis for this disease usually includes a blood test, a stool test and a physical exam. The treatment for this disorder involves increasing fluid intake to replenish the lost fluids and antibiotics to treat the condition.