What Is Diarrhea?


Diarrhea is watery loose frequent stool (watery diarrhea).Diarrhea is considered to be chronic diarrhea when there are frequent loose stools for more than 4 weeks. In adults, diarrhea is usually mild as it goes away without any complications while in infants and children diarrhea can cause severe dehydration quickly. In other words, diarrhea is actually an increase in the frequency of bowel movements.


Diarrhea should be distinguished from four conditions. Although these conditions can accompany diarrhea yet the causes and treatments can be different other than diarrhea.

  • Incontinence of stool
  • Rectal urgency
  • Incomplete evacuation
  • Immediate bowel movements after a meal

Absolute diarrhea is one having more bowl movements than normal. In healthy individual, the maximum number of bowel movements may be three but in case of diarrhea the number of bowel movements may increase from three. Relative diarrhea is one which has more bowel movements than usual. Thus individual who have one bowel movement each day will have 2 bowel movements each day. Prolonged diarrhea consisting of more than two days may cause a serious problem and thus dehydration. Individuals who eat lot of vegetables usually have looser stools than those who eat meat and fibrous food so, people should take foods to eat to stop diarrhea.


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