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What gives you diarrhea?

  1. Thin, watery stools that keep you running to the bathroom: Diarrhea is a nasty ailment that can make you feel as limp as a dishcloth. What makes that diarrhea come on so suddenly?

Viruses, bacteria and parasites

  1. Acute diarrhea usually indicates an intestinal infection or stomach flu. Viruses and bacteria enter your body through your mouth and cause inflammation of the intestinal wall. Due to the inflammation, the intestinal wall can absorb less moisture and the stool becomes thin. Some bacteria produce a toxin that makes you sick. Notorious viruses and bacteria that cause diarrhea include rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus types 40/41, astrovirus, salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter and staphylococcus aureus. Certain parasites and worms can also be the culprit.


  1. You can ingest bacteria, viruses and parasites through food. When it is hot or the hygiene is poor, these pathogens can quickly multiply in food and water. Excessive alcohol consumption can also make your bowels run wild. You can also get a loose stool from excess laxative sweeteners such as sorbitol or xylitol, for example by drinking lots of soda or chewing gum. Taking too much vitamin C, caffeinated drinks and sugar has the same effect. And then there are all kinds of foods that have a mild laxative effect, such as plums, gingerbread and certain teas. It is a myth that olive oil would give you diarrhea. With a food intolerance or food allergy, diarrhea can be one of the complaints of eating certain food ingredients. Nuts, legumes, seeds, shellfish, gluten, sodium glutamate, preservatives, fava beans, dyes, lactose and fructose are all ingredients that you can react to with diarrhea if your body cannot tolerate them.


  1. During or after a course of antibiotics, many people suffer from diarrhea. Antibiotics not only destroy the bacteria that make you sick, but also useful bacteria. This disrupts the balance in the intestines and you can suffer from stomach and intestinal complaints. Painkillers, antacids and too high a dose of laxatives can also cause diarrhea. In addition, you can be allergic to certain medications, resulting in watery stools.


  1. Intestines may be chronically inflamed. With inflammation that is only in the colon, we speak of ulcerative colitis. In Crohn's disease, the inflammation is often in the transition from the large to the small intestine. Diarrhea is one of the symptoms of these conditions. An irritable or spastic bowel reacts extra sensitively and contracts irregularly, so that you sometimes suffer from loose stools and sometimes constipation. Diarrhea can also occur with gallbladder, liver, or pancreas disease.


  1. Stress hormones influence the production of stomach acid and the contractile movements of the intestines (peristalsis) that propel food debris. Even if you are anxious or nervous, this can make your bowels work too quickly. As a result, your stool passes the colon too quickly, so that too little water is drawn from it and the stool remains thin.

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