Acute Diarrhoea

Acute Diarrhea

Acute Diarrhea is a condition that involves frequent loose or watery stools, abodominal cramps, bloating, nausea, and often vomiting. It affects millions of people each year and can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection or a change in diet.

There are two types of acute diarrhea: short duration of diarrhea and long duration of diarrhea. Short duration of diarrhea lasts up to two weeks and is usually caused by a virus or bacteria entering the person’s system through contaminated food or drink. Long duration of diarrhea lasts longer than four weeks and is caused by digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.


Symptoms of acute diarrhea include:

  • Watery or loose stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss


The most common causes of acute diarrhea include:

  • Infection, such as Norovirus, rotavirus, and salmonella
  • Food poisoning
  • Bacterial infection, such as E. coli and Clostridium difficile
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Medication side effects
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Change in diet
  • Lactose intolerance


The treatment for acute diarrhea depends on the underlying cause. Typically, doctors recommend:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, to replace lost electrolytes and to prevent dehydration
  • Replacing the electrolytes that have been lost in the stool with electrolyte drinks or tablets
  • Eating light, easily digestible foods, such as rice, applesauce, and toast
  • Using medications to reduce symptoms, such as loperamide, a medication that slows down the movement of the bowels
  • Antibiotics for certain bacterial infections

In most cases, acute diarrhea resolves within a few days. If it persists for more than a week, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause.