Diarrhea: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention


1. Overview

Everyone has suffered from diarrhea at least once in their lifetime. However, diarrhea can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons for people to seek medical attention. Diarrhea can range from mild to severe,
with some considered as life-threatening.

Across the globe, there are an estimated 2 billion cases of diarrheal disease every year. About 1.9 million children under the age of 5 years old, mostly living in developing countries, die from diarrhea. Though the condition can be mild and resolve on its own, people from vulnerable groups like infants, children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems may suffer from potentially-fatal complications of diarrhea.

Diarrhea is described as the increase in the frequency of bowel movements and an increase in the looseness of stool. It is usually caused by the increased secretion of fluid into the intestine, rapid passage of stool in the intestine and decreased absorption of fluid from the intestine.