Gut Instincts: A Clinician's Handbook of Digestive and Liver Diseases

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Chapter 19: Diarrhea (continued)

Lynn Shapiro Connolly, MD; Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Diarrhea often means different things to patients and providers. It is a term used to describe loose or watery stools, increased stool frequency (more than 3 bowel movements a day), or an excessive volume of stool (more than 200 g per day). People at the highest risk of developing diarrhea are immunocompromised persons, those exposed to contaminated food or water, travelers, and those in close contact with infants and children. Diarrhea can be either acute or chronic (more than 4 weeks in duration), and it is usually due to one of the following mechanisms: osmotic, secretory…