Diarrhea in Adults
This guide is designed to help you understand the most likely reasons for your symptoms.
If your diarrhea is substantial, if you have other unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss, or blood in your bowel movements, or if your diarrhea has persisted for more than five days, you should visit with your doctor to discuss your symptoms. This guide is intended to be used as a compliment to discussions with your doctor, not as a substitute for office-based care.
You will encounter a small number of questions about your experience with diarrhea as you proceed through this program. Your answers will move you toward information that is most pertinent to your circumstances.
Because they do not share many causes in common, it is best to consider "acute" diarrhea and "chronic" diarrhea as separate symptoms.
Acute diarrhea has an abrupt onset and replaces a previously normal bowel pattern. If you have acute diarrhea, you have probably experienced symptoms for fewer than three weeks.
Chronic diarrhea slowly develops and persists for months or years, or it causes recurring episodes of diarrhea.
Which type of diarrhea symptoms are you experiencing?
Chronic diarrhea does not necessarily mean that you have a chronic disease. In fact, one of the most common causes of chronic diarrhea is medication side effects.
Are you taking any oral prescription or non-prescription medicines, vitamins, or dietary supplements?