- Watery, liquid stools: The stools may be any color. The passage of red stools suggests
intestinal bleeding and could
be a sign of a more severe infection. The passage of thick, tarry black stools suggests significant bleeding in the stomach or upper portions of the intestine and is not usually caused by acute infections.
- Abdominal cramps: Occasionally diarrhea is accompanied with mild-to-moderate abdominal pain. Severe abdominal
or stomach pain is not common and, if present,
may suggest more severe disease.
- Fever: A high fever is not common. If present, the affected person may have a more severe illness than acute diarrhea.
- Dehydration: If diarrhea leads to
dehydration, it is a sign of potentially serious disease.
- Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Adults may be very thirsty and have a dry mouth.
- The skin of older people may appear to be loose. The elderly may also become very sleepy or have behavioral changes and confusion when dehydrated.
- Dehydrated infants and children may have sunken eyes, dry mouths, and
urinate less frequently than usual. They may appear very sleepy or may refuse to eat or drink.
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