Symptoms and Signs of Diarrhea

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 7/22/2022

Doctor's Notes on Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common condition that is characterized by frequent and loose bowel movements. Diarrhea that comes on suddenly is often due to a viral infection. Diarrhea that is persistent and lasts more than 4-6 weeks usually is a sign of an underlying problem with the gastrointestinal tract. Causes of chronic diarrhea may include:

Associated symptoms that often accompany diarrhea depend on the cause and may include:

What Is the Treatment for Diarrhea?

Treatment of diarrhea depends on the cause and severity. For most cases of diarrhea, medication is not necessary. Possible treatments may include:

  • Hydration, either oral or intravenous
  • Bland diet
  • Medications may include: 

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.