Conditions causing short term Diarrhoea


Diarrhoea usually occurs when fluid cannot be absorbed from your bowel contents, or when extra fluid is secreted into the bowel, causing watery faeces.

Conditions causing short-term diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is usually a symptom of gastroenteritis, an infection of the bowel. Gastroenteritis may be caused by:
• A virus, such as norovirus or rotavirus
• Bacteria, such as campylobacter, Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella and shigella – these may all cause food poisoning
• Parasites, such as the Giardia intestinalis parasite that causes giardiasis.
Diarrhoea caused by contaminated food or water from a foreign country is known as Travellers’ diarrhoea
Other short-term causes
Other short-term causes of diarrhoea include:
• Emotional upset or anxiety
• Drinking too much alcohol
• Drinking too much much coffee
• A food allergy

Diarrhoea can also be a side effect of many different medicines, including:
• Antibiotics
• Antacid medicines that contain magnesium
• Some medicines used in chemotherapy
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
• Statins (cholesterol-lowering medicines)
• Laxatives – a type of medicine that can help you empty your bowels if you are having trouble going to the toilet

The patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine should state whether diarrhoea is a possible side effect.