What Can Cause Diarrhea?

In most comedy movies, diarrhea is at the butt of many jokes — a bad pun to say the least! Diarrhea can be cause for a good laugh, but wait until you have diarrhea in real life, then it will no longer be a laughing matter. Diarrhea, though common with most people is not a very serious illness, but one has to admit that it is quite uncomfortable. Diarrhea seems to be most likely to come at the worse times such as when you are on your vacation, and instead of enjoying that out of town trip, you end up in your hotel bathroom. But what are the causes of diarrhea?

Most people who travel to foreign countries will most likely experience Montezuma’s revenge, also commonly known as travel diarrhea. Suffering diarrhea while on a trip can be disastrous as your entire trip might get ruined. Nearly 10 million international travelers develop traveler’s diarrhea. Eating or drinking food contaminated with infectious agents and some bacteria are the primary cause of diarrhea. It is important to note that while travelling you should only drink bottled water and take food you are sure of to avoid diarrhea.

While diarrhea is common with travelers, it is common too for those who stay at home. So what are the causes of diarrhea to those who stay at home? Some medications such as antibiotics can cause diarrhea. Some antibiotics destroy good and bad bacteria, which can lead to alteration of natural balance of bacteria in the intestines. This can lead to the intestines contracting an infection from the Clostridium difficile bacteria that causes diarrhea. Before taking any medication you should check whether diarrhea is listed as one of its side effects and if it is, take precaution.

Sometimes, the body’s system is not able to tolerate certain things such as lactose present in the food we eat and this can cause diarrhea. Lactose is present in dairy products such as milk and cheese. People whose digestive system doesn’t tolerate lactose will have a difficulty adjusting to it and may experience diarrhea. The body produces an enzyme that helps the body to digest lactose. Failure by the body to produce these enzymes in lactose intolerant people is what causes diarrhea. Also the body is not able to produce these enzymes as years go by and this leads to an increased risk of diarrhea due to lack of lactose tolerance as the body ages.

Another cause of diarrhea is the presence of artificial sweeteners and fructose in the diet. Sometimes the body’s digestive system will find it difficult digesting the sugars and this may lead to diarrhea.

In most third world countries, diarrhea is a serious problem compared to first world countries such as the U.S. But what are the causes of diarrhea in these countries? In most of these countries, there is inadequate sanitation and hygiene and safe water for drinking and cooking is a problem. This leads to people using the only available water which is, most of the time, contaminated. Malnutrition is also another cause since the body is not strong enough to fight off bacteria.

Although it is not a serious health problem, it is an inconvenience that might make you spend most of your time sited on your porcelain throne against your wishes.

Sourced from: Dugout

Photo by Evil Erin / CC by

Posted on May 5, 2023