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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  3. Agoraphobia
  4. Amyloidosis
  5. Anaphylaxis
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  28. Colorectal Cancer
  29. Crohn's Crisis
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  31. What is Crohn's disease? A Mayo Clinic expert explains
  32. Crohn's disease symptom: Is fatigue common?
  33. Crohn's or Colitis
  34. Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  35. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
  36. Diabetes insipidus
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  42. E. coli
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  44. Early HIV symptoms: What are they?
  45. Ebola transmission: Can Ebola spread through the air?
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  47. Endometriosis
  48. What is endometriosis? A Mayo Clinic expert explains
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  50. Endometriosis: Risk factor for ovarian cancer?
  51. Fecal incontinence
  52. Flu masks
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  54. Food poisoning
  55. Gastroenteritis: First aid
  56. GI Stents
  57. Giardia infection (giardiasis)
  58. Graves' disease
  59. H1N1 flu (swine flu)
  60. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  61. Hirschsprung's disease
  62. HIV/AIDS
  63. Hunter syndrome
  64. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  65. Inflammatory bowel disease FAQs
  66. Infographic: Innovative Rectal Cancer Treatments
  67. Intestinal ischemia
  68. Intestinal obstruction
  69. Intussusception
  70. Irritable bowel syndrome
  71. Ischemic colitis
  72. Jet lag disorder
  73. Kawasaki disease
  74. Lactose intolerance
  75. Legionnaires' disease
  76. Listeria infection
  77. Malaria
  78. Mayo Clinic Minute: Avoiding summer E. coli infection
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  93. Plague
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  96. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
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  100. Primary sclerosing cholangitis
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  104. Rectal cancer
  105. Reye's syndrome
  106. Roseola
  107. Rotavirus
  108. Salt craving: A symptom of Addison's disease?
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  110. Self-care for the flu
  111. Serotonin syndrome
  112. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  113. Shellfish allergy
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  115. Smallpox
  116. Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
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  120. Toxic shock syndrome
  121. Trichinosis
  122. Typhoid fever
  123. Ulcerative colitis
  124. Ulcerative colitis flare-ups: 5 tips to manage them
  125. Vesicoureteral reflux
  126. How irritable bowel syndrome affects you
  127. Vitamin deficiency anemia
  128. What is MERS-CoV?
  129. What's the difference between H1N1 flu and influenza A?
  130. Wheat allergy
  131. Whipple's disease
  132. Fecal transplant treatment of C. difficile at Mayo Clinic
  133. Mayo Clinic study reporting increased incidence of C. difficile infection
  134. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome