People of all ages and demographics experience loose or watery stools on occasion. While generally not a serious condition, diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it's particularly important to drink plenty of water when symptoms arise.
Diarrhea that goes away in one or two days is considered “acute diarrhea” and is typically nothing to worry about. However, if diarrhea lasts longer than two days, it is considered “chronic diarrhea” and could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Acute diarrhea is usually caused by:
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
Chronic diarrhea is usually related to issues such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
If you experience frequent diarrhea that disrupts your day-to-day life, consult a gastroenterologist for testing to diagnose the issue appropriately. It may be as simple as adopting a more balanced diet and eliminating greasy foods and caffeine, or you may have a more serious, underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Request an appointment for a consultation with one of our GI doctors to learn more about this condition and explore treatment options.