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One of the most unpleasant and annoying symptoms of a digestive order is definitely diarrhea. At any given time, five percent of the American population is experiencing diarrhea, and almost everyone has the condition at least four times a year.

For most people, diarrhea will go away in several days, but if it persists for over a week, it probably means that it is time to see a doctor, especially in the case of children and the elderly.

If severe abdominal pain or rectal pain, bloody or tarry stools, or fevers persist, then a doctor should be visited as well.

The usual symptoms of the condition include frequent and loose, watery stools, constant urges to go to the bathroom, cramps, pain, fever, bloody stools, bloating, nausea and vomiting.

The most common cause of diarrhea is an inflammation of the intestinal tract, which can be the result of a viral or parasitic infection or an irritation that can sometimes be caused by food a person ingested or medications they are taking.

The inflammation disrupts the regular process of digestion that will normally leave a solid stool. It causes the digestive system to pass the food too quickly and it when passes in a watery form and frequently.

Diarrhea can be cause by bacteria that can come from contaminated food or water. Common viruses that cause diarrhea are rotavirus and adenovirus, and these are very common in young children.

Antibiotics can also cause diarrhea. The normal balance of the beneficial bacteria in the body and the intestines are then left vulnerable to infections.

People who are unable to digest certain component so f food such as lactose or sugar found in milk products can also get diarrhea.

Artificial sweeteners are also known to cause diarrhea.

People who travel frequently are more susceptible to diarrhea, caused by eating contaminated food and water.

People who have diarrhea must drink a lot of water. Because a person is constantly going to the bathroom, he or she is losing water at a faster rate than usual. Therefore, drinking more water is needed in order to keep the body hydrated.

When a person has diarrhea, it does mean that they need to stop eating. They simply must try eating food that is more easily digestible. Foods that should be avoided include milk products, greasy foods, foods that are seasoned, high in fiber or very sweet, because they all aggravate the diarrhea.

It is best to eat foods such as bananas, plain rice, potatoes, toast, crackers, cooked carrots, baked chicken or applesauce.

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