Chronic diarrhea, being a persistent occurrence or recurrence of watery or loose stool, bothering a person for more than four weeks is a condition which can be triggered by numerous different factors. Some causes may be dangerous or even life-threatening while others may be easily treatable. Therefore, it is important to have the cause behind your chronic diarrhea diagnosed and dealt with instead of letting it bother you or, let alone, get worse.
Causes of Chronic Diarrhea
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease which commonly leads to diarrhea and possibly constipation. It is caused by rapid passage of the intestinal contents through the colon.
Alternatively, this condition may be triggered by infections affecting the digestive system. Chronic diarrhea can be caused by giardia lamblia or even AIDS. Having your digestive system overpopulated by different bacteria may easily lead to chronic diarrhea too, especially if this phenomenon affects your small intestine, spreading there from the colon, disallowing food to be digested properly.
Sometimes, bacterial, viral or parasitic infections may lead to chronic diarrhea once they themselves pass. Inflammatory bowel disease is yet another possible trigger of chronic diarrhea, along with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or inflammation of the small intestine or the colon.
The Worst Case Scenarios
Constipation and diarrhea may be provoked by colon cancer, where the cancer itself blocks the stool and prevents it from passing. Yet, the watery content of the stool may pass, leading to diarrhea and thin stool. Rectal cancer may lead to a feeling that your stool has not passed completely. Nevertheless, all these problems may be a sign of a severe constipation, which is a problem capable of being treated more easily.
Additionally, one's inability to absorb sugars can lead to chronic constipation too, especially in cases of lactose intolerance where the enzymes which are required to complete digestion processes of milk are absent. Also, a person may not be capable of digesting fat properly due to pancreatic or intestinal problems. Then, undigested fat enters the small intestine leading to an increased expelling of water, resulting in diarrhea.
Other Serious Causes of Chronic Diarrhea
Finally, certain endocrine diseases may lead to chronic diarrhea as well. Hyperthyroidism and under-active pituitary and adrenal glands lead to this health problem. Overuse of laxative can easily cause diarrhea which can be chronic in some cases.
All in all, there is a wide variety of possible causes when it comes to chronic diarrhea. Therefore, it is important to react timely and have your diarrhea properly treated. However, this can only be done after having the causes behind it properly diagnosed.