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Diarrhea & Stool

If you’re spending too much time in the bathroom—from diarrhea or constipation—you know how important it is to keep your gut healthy. Before you need to go again, find the answer to your stomach woes.

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Find out how to get relief from your diarrhea

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Are you experiencing fatty stools that are hard to flush? Many of us suffer from greasy or fatty stools from time to time. However, persistent oily stool can point to a disorder in the gut, such as pancreatitis, IBS, or gallstones.

Dark brown stool can be normal. But it may mean you’re dehydrated or constipated. If it continues, it could be a sign of a larger issue that needs to be checked with your doctor.

Find out how to treat your pediatric fecal incontinence

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Blackish or reddish stool may be from too much iron in your diet, or from certain foods. Black stool may also be caused by constipation, which can make stool harder and drier than normal. But sometimes, it’s a sign of internal bleeding and needs immediate attention.

The constant urge to pass a stool is also known as tenesmus and may be associated with stomach pain. It is commonly caused by obstruction or contraction within the intestines, a bacterial infection, or a nerve abnormality in the digestive system.

Hard stool is usually a sign of constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

If your stool smells worse than usual, it may simply be due to something you ate. But it may be a sign of something more serious, such as irritable bowel disease.

Watery diarrhea is commonly caused by a viral infection or food poisoning from eating undercooked meat or rotten foods. Liquid diarrhea can also be caused by protozoa. If you have watery diarrhea lasting for 3 days or longer, you may have a chronic condition. Read below for more information on causes and how to treat runny diarrhea.

Noticing mucus in diarrhea could be a variation of normal. Mucus is secreted by your intestines and is part of the digestive process. But seeing large amounts may indicate something is off in your digestive tract. Analyzing additional symptoms can help you clue into next steps for diagnosis and treatment.

Green poop can be commonly caused by eating certain green foods, an infection that causes diarrhea, bile, or a side effect of medication. In addition, irritable bowel syndrome can cause green poop and stomach pain.

Diarrhea is loose or watery stool, or having a stool at least 3 times in 24 hours. Common causes include viral gastroenteritis, bacterial infection, C. Diff colitis, medications, irritable bowel syndrome, and celiac disease.

While mucus in the stool is natural for the digestive process, conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease can cause unusual amounts to show up in your stool. Here’s how to tell when it’s worrisome—and how to treat it.

Incomplete evacuation of stool, or even just the sensation of not emptying your bowel, can be frustrating. It may be caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, or an autoimmune disorder like ulcerative colitis. If you feel like you're not passing all the stool, talk to your doctor.

If your stool is any color other than brown, it may be alarming. Sometimes the reason is as innocent as eating new foods. But stool colors can also be a sign of serious conditions like gastrointestinal bleeding, so it’s important to find out what’s going on.

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Having a bowel movement can be painful if you’re constipated or have other relatively common problems like hemorrhoids. But it can also be a sign of anal cancer, so shouldn’t be ignored.

Light grey, or clay-colored stool is a symptom of a lack of bile flow into your digestive system, which may be a sign of an obstruction in a bile duct. You should call your doctor or get medical care right away if you notice pale or grey stool.

Bloody diarrhea is not normal. It may be a symptom of an intestinal infection or parasite. You should seek medical treatment if you have bloody diarrhea, especially when accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or fever.

Try these tactics to get rid of diarrhea and keep from getting dehydrated. Drink water, take over-the-counter and natural remedies, and eat bland foods until you feel better.

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While red stool may be caused by ingesting certain foods or medications, red stool can indicate an internal problem. Paying attention to other symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort and discussing your concerns with a doctor in a timely manner is important.