Common Causes of Chronic Diarrhea

Suffering from chronic diarrhea is unlike suffering from occasional diarrhea. Occasional diarrhea is caused by a variety of issues in the intestinal tract. Some causes, such as lactose intolerance, will resolve once dairy is no longer present in the intestines. Irritable Bowel Syndrome caused by stress, may be alleviated by anti-anxiety medication. Celiac disease can be relieved by avoiding foods that contain gluten and cause irritation. By contrast to the occasional diarrhea that occurs because of conditions and intolerances, diarrhea as a result of food poisoning usually lasts for around 24 hours and is the result of toxins causing the small intestine to secrete large amounts of water. Depending on the bacterial infection, which means that toxins are either present in the food or are created in the intestine, diarrhea from food poisoning can take anywhere from seven to 15 hours to hit the body.

Chronic diarrhea is different from occasional or food poisoning related diarrhea because it is persistent. Other forms of diarrhea are usually accompanied by symptoms, such as pain, bleeding, anemia, weight loss or fatigue. By contrast, chronic diarrhea means that bowels are loose on a regular basis but you otherwise feel fine. Chronic diarrhea may or may not be a sign of disease or poor eating habits.

Common Causes of Chronic Diarrhea May Include:

Food Intolerance: Ingesting something that the body is intolerant to, such as sugar or chemicals. Fructose and lactose, naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and dairy, can also lead to chronic diarrhea if they are not avoided.

Laxatives: Herbal supplements may contain laxative like compounds that cause chronic diarrhea and may not appear on the label. By stopping the supplement, you can determine if it was the cause.

Medications and Drugs: Sometimes taken for regularity, but also as a side effect, drugs or medications labeled with misoprostol, antacids containing magnesium hydroxide, stool softeners, alcohol and caffeine can all cause chronic diarrhea.

Food Allergies: Chronic diarrhea can be a symptom of a true food allergy. An elimination diet performed under a doctor’s supervision can help you to detect the food allergen.

Infections: Intestinal parasites, which can be detected with stool samples or a biopsy, can cause diarrhea. Parasites that cause intestinal infections that lead to chronic diarrhea are more common in some parts of the world than others.

Abdominal Surgeries: Prior surgeries can have complications, and chronic diarrhea can be a result of them.

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