Diarrhea - Causes


The following are the common causes of diarrhea:

Gastrointestinal Infections:

  • It is usually caused by the fluids that you take directly or the fluids produced in the gastrointestinal tract are not absorbed properly. Intestine will absorb most of the water from food during digestive process. If the food moves very fast then it cannot absorb water which results in diarrhea (loose stool).
  • It also occurs when the excess water moves into the bowel from the body.
  • Most of the time diarrhea is caused by the direct contact with these infectious organisms and agents:
    • Bacteria such as salmonella, shigella, and E. coli, which are spread by ingesting contaminated food or water.
    • Viruses like rotavirus, cytomegalovirus, Norovirus and viral hepatitis.
    • Parasites like cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, and Entamoebahistolytica.
  •  Also the risk factor of diarrhea includes eating uncooked meat, drinking unclean water, unrefrigerated food, travelling to other countries and also if you come in contact with someone who has gastroenteritis.

Medical condition:

  • Bowel cancer that causes the bowel habit changes, result in diarrhea or constipation.
  • Endocrine system disease such as thyroid disease, diabetes, adrenal disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome also causes alternative diarrhea and constipation.
  • Gall bladder or stomach surgery.
  • Cancer-fighting radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis
  • Intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and IBS
  • Food intolerance is mainly caused by a lack of the enzymes need to digest a specific food. Lactose intolerance, difficulty digesting the type of sugar found in dairy products.
  • Certain rare tumors that produce diarrhea-causing substances.

Other causes of diarrhea:

  • Food poisoning mainly caused due to contamination of food with bacteria.
  • Traveler’s Diarrhea.
  • Stomach Flu is caused by different viruses.
  • Some medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy medicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, laxatives, statins, antacid medicines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
  • Anxiety/emotional stress.