Diarrhea is a condition that causes you to pass loose or watery stools instead of solid ones. Diarrhea can cause significant fluid loss and stomach cramping. Loss of appetite occurs when you no longer have the desire to eat meals or snacks as you once did.... Read more
Diarrhea is a condition that causes you to pass loose or watery stools instead of solid ones. Diarrhea can cause significant fluid loss and stomach cramping.
Loss of appetite occurs when you no longer have the desire to eat meals or snacks as you once did. This symptom can be acute during illness, when you don’t feel like eating. Taking certain medications or undergoing cancer treatments can cause more long-term loss of appetite.
Diarrhea itself can lead to loss of appetite. You may not feel like eating because your stomach is upset.
Diarrhea and loss of appetite can have many causes, including:
- celiac disease
- drinking contaminated water
- food poisoning
- inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
- taking certain antibiotics, such as penicillin
- undergoing cancer treatments
- viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
A rare cause of diarrhea and loss of appetite is carcinoid syndrome, a condition in which tumors grow in the digestive tract.
Seek immediate medical attention if your diarrhea and loss of appetite are accompanied by dizziness, blood in your stool, or a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
See your doctor if your symptoms don’t go away or improve after five days. Children should see a doctor if symptoms persist after two days.
You should also see your doctor if you have dehydration symptoms, such as little urine output, dry mouth, and dizziness.
This information is a summary. Always seek medical attention if you think you may be experiencing a medical emergency.
Diarrhea can be the body’s reaction to harmful bacteria or a parasite. Often no treatment is warranted. For example, diarrhea related to contaminated food or drink will resolve on its own.
Your doctor can prescribe medication to treat diarrhea that is due to a bacterial or parasitic infection.
Medications are available to slow the digestive tract’s movements, and also to reduce diarrhea and cramping. Always talk to your doctor before taking these medications. You want to ensure that you will not extend your illness.
Fluid loss is a major concern when you have diarrhea and loss of appetite. Not only are you losing water, you’re also losing important electrolytes. You may wish to drink a beverage that contains electrolytes, such as a sports drink or Pedialyte formula. Juice or broth may also help if they don’t further upset your stomach.
Eating several small meals of bland foods such as crackers, toast, oatmeal, pudding, rice, or plain baked chicken may help to ease symptoms. Avoiding spicy, high-fiber, or raw foods can also help reduce your symptoms.
Taking supplements called probiotics may help foster healthy bacteria in your digestive system. These supplements are available at most grocery stores, drugstores, and health food stores.
Traveling to a foreign country can mean eating food and drinking water that contains different bacteria than you’re accustomed to. Drink bottled or purified water when you travel, and avoid all uncooked fruits and vegetables. You should also avoid dairy products and raw meats.
Your doctor may prescribe preventive antibiotics before you take a trip to certain areas to reduce your risk for diarrhea.