What Causes Diarrhea?

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Filed Under: Diarrhea, Digestive Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

What Causes Diarrhea?

Discover what could be causing your diarrhea symptoms

Before you can stop diarrhea, you first need to consider the following factors that can cause diarrhea:

Bacterial Imbalance

Your colon is like a constant bacterial war zone. There is a continuous battle going on between the beneficial bacterial flora in your bowel, and a massive quantity of germs and harmful bacteria that not only enter the colon daily through your food and water supply, but constantly reside there throughout your lifetime. Bowel problems such as diarrhea can occur when the balance between the beneficial bacteria and disease-causing bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract shifts toward the disease-causing variety. Such a bacterial shift is likely to happen when you travel to foreign countries or spend time in a hospital and your digestive and immune systems simply become overwhelmed with unfamiliar strains of unfriendly bacteria. To stop diarrhea that is caused by this type of bacterial imbalance, you need to supply your intestinal tract with more beneficial bacteria.

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An Open Ileocecal Valve

The ileocecal valve is located between the small and large intestine. Basically, it's in the same area as the appendix and many times what is thought to be an appendix problem is, instead, a problem with this valve. This little valve has two very important jobs to do. First, it is to serve as a block that prevents the toxic contents of the large intestine from backing up into the small intestine. Second, it keeps the food products in the small intestine from passing into the large intestine before the digestive processes have been completed. This valve can at times become either "stuck shut or stuck open." When stuck open, it can cause diarrhea. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to close your ileocecal valve.

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Drugs

Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as antibiotics, can wipe out the natural bacterial flora in your lower bowel and thus cause diarrhea.

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More Dr. Williams Advice on Diarrhea

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