What is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is a common medical condition that causes frequent and watery stools. It can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including infections, food poisoning, worms and other gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and diseases.

Symptoms of Diarrhoea

  • Frequent loose or watery stools
  • Abdominal discomfort or cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever or chills
  • Blood in stools

Causes of Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Infections and diseases such as viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning, parasites and other GI infections, and Clostridioides difficile (C. diff).
  • Dietary indiscretion, eating too much of a particular food or drinking too much alcohol.
  • Drugs and medications, including antibiotics and antacids.
  • Medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ulcers and gallbladder disease.
  • Injury or trauma to the abdomen.
  • Radiation therapy.

Treatment of Diarrhoea

Treatment of diarrhoea depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, the condition will resolve on its own without medical intervention. However, if the cause is an infection or disease, antibiotics or other medications may be necessary. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. It is also important to avoid certain foods and drinks that can make symptoms worse, such as caffeine, alcohol, high-fat and high-fiber foods.