Everyone occasionally has diarrhea — loose, watery and more-frequent bowel movements. You might also have abdominal cramps and produce a greater volume of stool. The duration of diarrhea symptoms can provide a clue to the underlying cause.

Acute diarrhea lasts from 2 days to 2 weeks. Persistent diarrhea lasts 2 to 4 weeks. Acute and persistent diarrhea are typically caused by a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection of some sort.

Chronic diarrhea lasts longer than does acute or persistent diarrhea, generally more than four weeks. Chronic diarrhea can indicate a serious disorder, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, or a less serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

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July 14, 2021

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  54. Flu masks
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  56. Food poisoning
  57. Gastroenteritis: First aid
  58. GI Stents
  59. Giardia infection (giardiasis)
  60. Graves' disease
  61. H1N1 flu (swine flu)
  62. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  63. Hirschsprung's disease
  64. HIV/AIDS
  65. Hunter syndrome
  66. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  67. Inflammatory bowel disease FAQs
  68. Infographic: Innovative Rectal Cancer Treatments
  69. Intestinal ischemia
  70. Intestinal obstruction
  71. Intussusception
  72. Irritable bowel syndrome
  73. Ischemic colitis
  74. Jet lag disorder
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  77. Legionnaires' disease
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  113. Serotonin syndrome
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  127. Ulcerative colitis flare-ups: 5 tips to manage them
  128. Vesicoureteral reflux
  129. How irritable bowel syndrome affects you
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  131. What is MERS-CoV?
  132. What's the difference between H1N1 flu and influenza A?
  133. Wheat allergy
  134. Whipple's disease
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  136. Mayo Clinic study reporting increased incidence of C. difficile infection
  137. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome