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What causes diarrhea? 87 possible conditions

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


Marine Animal Bites or Stings

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

Stingrays have venomous spines on their tails that can cause a painful wound, nausea, and weakness, and sometimes death. Swimming or snorkeling in shallow waters puts you at risk for coming in contact.

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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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Hirschsprung Disease

Hirschsprung disease is a blockage that occurs in the colon in about one of every 5,000 births. The cause is unknown, but tends to affect more boys and those with Down syndrome or another inherited condition.

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Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that attacks the body's nervous system. It is most likely to be contracted by children under five years old.

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Trichinosis is a roundworm that can infect humans when they eat certain undercooked meats. Rashes are a possible symptom of trichinosis after the larvae enter the muscle tissue.

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The Plague

The plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly. It's caused by poor sanitation, overcrowding, and large rodent populations.

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Weils Disease

Weil's disease is a severe form of the bacterial infection leptospirosis, which can lead to organ failure and bleeding. Symptoms include nausea, fever, headache, and jaundice.

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West Nile Virus Infection (West Nile Fever)

Spread by mosquitos, West Nile virus symptoms can vary in severity. Diarrhea and abdominal pain usually appears within two weeks of infection.

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Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by the Leishmania parasite found in sand flies.

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Autonomic Neuropathy

Damage to the nerves that help your organs to function can cause a condition called autonomic neuropathy (AN) and is associated with other conditions.

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Accidental Poisoning by Soap Products

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

If soap products with strong chemicals come in contact with skin, they may cause irritation, small holes, or even serious burns on the skin.

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All About Autonomic Dysrelexia (or Hyperreflexia)

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a condition in which your involuntary nervous system overreacts to stimuli. It's also known as autonomic hyperreflexia.

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Encopresis is also known as fecal soiling. It occurs when a child over the age of 4 years has a bowel movement and soils his or her pants. This behavior is often linked to constipation. Constipation occurs when stoo...

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Roundworms are a type of parasitic worm. Infections caused by roundworms are relatively common. Ascariasis is the most common roundworm infection.

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Q Fever

Q fever, also called query fever, is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. The bacteria are most commonly found in cattle, sheep, and goats around the world. Humans typically get Q fever whe...

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Acute Appendicitis

Acute appendicitis is a painful inflammation of your appendix, a small sac connected to your large intestine. It is an urgent condition that must be addressed immediately. If you have appendicitis, your appendi...

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. An autoimmune disease is a condition where the body's own immune system is responsible for the inflammation and breakdown of its own cells...

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Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease is a rare, serious condition causing heart problems in children. The disease can also affect the lymph nodes, the skin, and the mucous membranes found inside the nose, throat, and mouth.

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Pyogenic Liver Abscess

A pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is a pocket of pus that forms in the liver in response to an infection or trauma. Pus is a fluid composed of white blood cells, dead cells, and bacteria that forms when your body fight...

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Most common in boys, intussusception occurs when a portion of the intestines become enfolded, causing a blockage. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody stools, and others. It is potentially life-threatening.

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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.