Diarrhea, bloating and intestinal cramps have many causes. Some people have diarrhea when they are stressed or anxious. Intestinal discomfort can be caused by your diet or by a virus or bacterial infection, or it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition.
Diarrhea or intestinal cramps that come on suddenly may be caused by:
If several people who ate the same food get diarrhea, it is probably caused by bacteria in the food (food poisoning). Children might pick up a virus at school or from their siblings. Diarrhea and cramps caused by a bacteria or virus may be accompanied by other symptoms such as a headache, body aches, low fever, or fatigue.
Diarrhea is common when you travel to a foreign country and are exposed to unfamiliar foods, or bacteria to which your body is not immune.
Most acute diarrhea clears up in a few hours or days. Until the diarrhea stops, avoid putting strain on your digestive system:
See a doctor if:
Dehydration is a special concern in small children, infants, and the elderly. Offer water or Pedialyte, and see a doctor if the person does not want to drink anything.
Diarrhea that does not clear up in a few days, or a change in bowel habits, could be a symptom of a more serious infection or a chronic condition, including:
Urgent Family Care will evaluate your intestinal disorder and help you develop a plan to treat or manage your symptoms.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. It is information that is generally available. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.