It could be the leftovers you ate – or something more serious like a reaction to medication. It’s unpleasant, inconvenient and sometimes painful – the loose, watery stools known as diarrhea.
Bowel and gastrointestinal problems can cause diarrhea, as well as nausea and vomiting. Nausea, an unsettled stomach, can occur before vomiting and diarrhea, while vomiting is a strong gag that empties your stomach’s contents.
Diarrhea is a common problem that could last a few days and then stop on its own. If it’s short term (acute), it’s usually related to viral or bacterial infections; long-term (chronic) diarrhea is usually related to intestinal disease or a functional disorder.
Though each person may experience symptoms differently, these are the most common symptoms of diarrhea:
- Abdominal pain
- Urgent need to use the restroom
- Bloody stools
Your age, medical history and overall health will determine your treatment, which typically involves replacing lost fluids. It might include antibiotics if the diarrhea is caused by bacterial infections.