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What causes diarrhea and weight loss? 26 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Malabsorption Syndrome

Malabsorption syndrome occurs when the intestine's ability to absorb important nutrients is compromised. Certain conditions, such as Celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and dairy allergies may lead to malabsorption.

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Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, is caused by a number of different viruses. Its symptoms usually last for two to three days.

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Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerence occurs when a person's small intestine can't break down lactose, an enzyme found in dairy foods. The condition can cause many gastrointestinal symptoms.

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Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by an immune reaction to gluten. Symptoms vary but can include arthritis, fatigue, and abdominal symptoms.

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There are many symptoms of the autoimmune disease HIV/AIDS, including persistent skin rashes, night sweats, and mouth sores.

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Ulcerative Colitis

In UC, the lining of the large intestine and the rectum become inflamed. This produces tiny sores or ulcers on the lining of the colon, often accompanied by diarrhea and cramping.

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Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel disease that causes severe inflammation of the digestive tract. It is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and may affect your quality of life. Crohn's disease is characterized b...

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The thyroid gland produces a hormone that controls how your cells use energy (metabolize). Hyperthyroidism occurs when the body produces excessive amounts, causing rapid heart rates, weight loss, and heat intolerance.

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Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that originates in the rectum or colon. Both of these organs are located at the lower portion of your digestive system. The colon is at the end of the large intestine and the rectum is a...

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Amebiasis is a parasitic infection, common in tropical countries and caused by contaminated water. Symptoms can be severe and usually start one to four weeks after exposure.

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Hookworm Infections

Hookworms are parasites that affect the small intestine and lungs. The first sign of infection is usually a rash where the parasite entered the skin, followed by diarrhea.

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Colitis is inflammation of the colon, often causing discomfort and pain in the abdomen, as well as other gastrointestinal symptoms. Colitis has many possible causes, which determine the type.

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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disorder that affects cells that produce mucous, sweat, and digestive juices. It may cause severe problems in the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestine

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The Deadly Potential of Digitalis: Digitalis Toxicity

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Digitalis toxicity happens when you take too much digitalis, a medication for heart conditions. This results in nausea, vomiting, chills and sweating.

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Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is cancer of the pancreas, an organ that secretes an enzyme that breaks down fats, carbs, and proteins. Pancreatic cancer can obstruct the outflow of bile from the liver and causes yellow skin.

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Whipple's Disease

Whipple's disease is a rare but dangerous bacterial disease that prevents the body from properly absorbing nutrients. The disease affects many parts of the body and is associated with a variety of symptoms.

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Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when nerves malfunction because they're damaged or destroyed. You'll notice a tingling, numbness, or weakness, and possibly sweating, constipation, or diarrhea.

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Addison’s Disease

Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal cortex is damaged and the adrenal glands don't produce enough of the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone.

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Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma)

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by changes in the texture and appearance of the skin due to an increase in collagen. It can affect blood vessels and muscles, and a number of vital organs.

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Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by a bite from an infected sandfly. It can affect the skin or internal organs. Symptoms of visceral leishmaniasis often appear months after exposure.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.