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
  • Blastocystosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Rapid Stool Passage

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:
unexplained fevers that hit hard
moderate unexplained weight loss
moderate epigastric pain
past PPI antacid use
significant meal-induced pain
anal itching at night
major unexplained weight loss
meals worsen epigastric pain
high sensitivity to bright light
abdominal pain relieved by BM
severe left iliac pain after meals
poor bodily coordination
... and more than 120 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
Gallbladder Disease 90% Confirm
Epstein-Barr Virus 18% Unlikely
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 17% Unlikely
Rapid Stool Passage 1% Ruled out
Ulcerative Colitis 0% Ruled out
Bacterial Dysbiosis 0% Ruled out
Blastocystosis 0% Ruled out
Pancreatitis 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 - once a month or more
→ Often - once a week or more
→ Frequently / several times a day
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:
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS is a condition affecting the colon, which normally absorbs water from stool.  IBS can cause rapid stool transit, less water absorption, and therefore loose and watery stool with frequent bouts of diarrhea.

IBS often reduces the amount of time that stool remains in the intestines, and therefore also the amount of water that is absorbed.  This results in very loose and watery stool, and frequent episodes of diarrhea.  Not having diarrhea as a symptom therefore strongly suggests that IBS may not be the problem.

It should be noted, however, that some suffers (especially those with IBS-C – Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation) will suffer from the opposite problem: stool remains for a longer time in the intestines, more water is absorbed, stool becomes hard and dry, and constipation results.  Many patients suffer from both diarrhea and constipation.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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