DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|Colon and small intestine|
Diarrhea describes loose, watery stools that occur more frequently than usual. Diarrhea is something everyone experiences. Diarrhea often means more frequent trips to the toilet and a greater volume of stool.
In most cases, diarrhea signs and symptoms usually last a couple of days. But sometimes diarrhea can last for weeks. In these situations, diarrhea can be a sign of a serious disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease, or a less serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Diarrhea may cause a loss of significant amounts of water and salts. Most cases of diarrhea go away without treatment. But see your doctor if diarrhea persists, if you become dehydrated or if you pass blood in your stool.
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