Causes of Watery Diarrhea

By jolene
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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Diarrhea occurs when there is three or more loose stools a day. This means that there is high water content in the stools, which can happen due to an imbalance in the physiology of both large and small intestines during the absorption of water, organic substrate, and ions. It is a relatively common disorder that has many causes ranging from mild to severe.

Diarrhea can be categorized into acute or chronic depending on the duration of the symptoms. Acute diarrhea has an acute onset and does not last longer than 14 days while persistent or chronic diarrhea lasts longer. This distinction is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as it helps categorize diarrhea for management and research purposes.

1. Statistics

In the United States, rotavirus has been associated with 4% to 5% of all pediatric hospitalizations, which amounts to almost $1 billion. About 20% of physician referrals in children under 2 years old was due to acute diarrhea. When an antirotavirus immunization was available, it was found to significantly reduce emergency visits and hospitalizations due to diarrhea in children compared to the prevaccine period. In developing countries, there is an average of 3 episodes of diarrhea annually in those under the age of 5. Some areas even report 6 to 8 episodes every year. This can lead to growth issues and increased mortality. Over the last 20 years, fatalities in children due to diarrhea have decreased due to the widespread use of oral rehydration solutions.

Watery Diarrhea

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