Diarrhea is a condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss.
Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behavior. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe.
The most common cause of diarrhea is infection of the intestines due to a virus, bacteria, or parasite — a condition also known as gastroenteritis.
The three types of diarrhea are: short duration watery diarrhea, short duration bloody diarrhea, and persistent diarrhea (lasting more than two weeks, which can be either watery or bloody).
A number of non-infectious causes can result in diarrhea.
These include lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, non- celiac gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, hyperthyroidism, bile acid diarrhea, and a number of medications.