Diarrhea is when you have more than three very loose bowel movements in 1 day. For many, diarrhea is mild and will pass within a few days. For others, it may last longer. It can make you feel weak and dried out (dehydrated). It can also lead to unhealthy weight loss.
A stomach or intestinal illness can cause diarrhea. It can be a side effect of medical treatments, such as antibiotics and some cancer treatments.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help you take care of your diarrhea.
What foods can make my problem worse?
Are there foods I should eat so I do not lose too much weight?
How much water or liquid should I drink during the day? What are the signs that I am not drinking enough water?
Do any of the medicines, vitamins, herbs, or supplements I am taking cause diarrhea? Should I stop taking any of them?
What products can I buy at the store to help with my diarrhea? What is the best way to take these?
Does my diarrhea mean I have a more serious medical problem?
When should I call the doctor?
What to ask your doctor about diarrhea - adult; Loose stools - what to ask your doctor - adult
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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