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What Causes Liquid Diarrhea?

By Vivian Nelson Melle ; Updated July 27, 2017

While diarrhea is defined as markedly loose stool, severe watery diarrhea can lead to dangerous levels of dehydration, especially in children. Here are just a few of the most common causes for liquid diarrhea.

Infections and Parasites

Watery stools can be the result of both viral and bacterial infections. E. coli and salmonella are notable because of their severity. Giardia is an extremely contagious parasite that can cause watery stools and prolonged bouts of diarrhea.

Food Intolerances

Two of the most common food intolerance that can lead to watery diarrhea are lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance. Both cases usually present gas, pain and watery stool since the intestines cannot digest the lactose or gluten appropriately.

Medications

Some prescription medication have side effects of watery stools. Usually, the gastrointestinal track's environment is thrown off, causing an over-abundance of bad bugs that lead to liquid diarrhea.

Diseases

Certain diseases can cause liquid diarrhea, including celiac disease, Crohn's and inflammatory bowel disease.

Dehydration

Lack of fluids can cause the body to accumulate water in the bowls in a feast-or-famine mode. This can later lead to higher levels of liquid in the stool.

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