Frequency Of Diarrhea Episodes

What Causes Frequent Diarrhea?

Frequent diarrhea can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose frequent diarrhea, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "frequent diarrhea" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Bacterial Dysbiosis
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Pancreatitis
  • Food Poisoning

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
recent onset vomiting
meals worsen top-left abdomen pain
red palms/fingertips
slight abdominal distension
history of birth control pill use
regular meal-related burping
having watery stools
chronic nausea
poor tolerance of heat
severe meal-induced pain
moderate right hypochondriac pain
high iodine consumption
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of frequent diarrhea:
Cause Probability Status
Hyperthyroidism 90% Confirm
Pancreatitis 18% Unlikely
Mesenteric Ischemia 17% Unlikely
Food Poisoning 1% Ruled out
Ulcerative Colitis 0% Ruled out
Bacterial Dysbiosis 0% Ruled out
Gallbladder Disease 0% Ruled out
Intestinal Obstruction 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Bowel Movement Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about frequency of diarrhea episodes:
Approximately how often do you suffer from diarrhea?
Possible responses:
→ Very rarely / it is not a problem / don't know
→ Occasionally - a few times a year
→ Regularly - at least once a month
→ Often - at least once a week
→ Frequently - after most or all meals
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate not suffering from diarrhea, occasional episodes of diarrhea, regular episodes of diarrhea or frequent episodes of diarrhea, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Rapid Intestinal Transit

Rapid Intestinal Transit also suggests the following possibilities:

Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are common causes of rapid food transit through the intestines.

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