Diarrhea is one of the most common health complaints. It can range from a mild, temporary condition to a potentially life threatening one. Globally, an estimated 2 billion cases of diarrheal disease occur each year.

Diarrhea is loose, watery stools. You have diarrhea if you have loose stools three or more times in one day.

Diarrhea occurs when:

  • There is excessively rapid transit of intestinal contents through the small intestine

  • Decreased enzymatic digestion of foods

  • Decreased absorption of fluid & nutrients

  • Increased secretion of fluid in the GI tract

Different types of diarrhea

There are actually several different ways to classify diarrhea. These types of diarrhea include:

  • Acute diarrhea: The most common, acute diarrhea is loose watery diarrhea that lasts one to two days. This type doesn’t need treatment and it usually goes away after a few days.

  • Persistent diarrhea: This type of diarrhea generally persists for several weeks – two to four weeks

  • Chronic diarrhea: Diarrhea that lasts for more than four weeks or comes and goes regularly over a long period of time is called chronic diarrhea.