Acute diarrhea can have different causes. In France, it is the gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the wall of the digestive tract, which is most often responsible. In the vast majority of cases, a virus is at fault, but it can also be bacteria. Gastroenteritis is sometimes accompanied by vomiting, abdominal pain and possibly fever. It can heal spontaneously in a few days.
Diarrhea is also caused by other factors. For some people, simply drinking fruit juice, alcohol, or overly spicy foods can cause loose stools.
Whatever the cause of the diarrhea, it is necessary to consult a doctor if it lasts beyond three-four days, if the patient presents signs of dehydration (loss of water), if this digestive disorder is accompanied by an important fever or if there are traces of blood in the stool. Additional tests, including stool and blood tests, may be prescribed. In the small child or the elderly, acute diarrhea can have serious consequences due to dehydration. And the advice of a doctor is necessary.
Contrary to popular belief, the turista (traveler's diarrhea) is not due to a change in diet or climate, it is still an infectious problem. It contracts by the drink or the food.
Chronic, repetitive diarrhea is a sign that is present in many diseases. In this case, it is necessary to consult a doctor who will prescribe complementary examinations: like a blood test, a colonoscopy ...