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
  • Malaria
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Food Poisoning
  • Gluten Sensitivity
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Magnesium Toxicity

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:
excessive flatulence
being easily excitable
regular unexplained vomiting
shortness of breath when at rest
regular drowsiness
frequent meal-related bloating
abdominal pain reduced by eating
excessive osmotic laxative use
recent onset diarrhea
loss of appetite
significant bowel movement changes
ectopic pregnancy
... and more than 90 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
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 94% Confirm
Mesenteric Ischemia 19% Unlikely
Gluten Sensitivity 17% Unlikely
Food Poisoning 4% Ruled out
Ectopic Pregnancy 3% Ruled out
Magnesium Toxicity 1% Ruled out
Malaria 1% Ruled out
Ulcerative Colitis 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:
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