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What Are the Most Common Causes of Nausea and Diarrhea?

There are numerous medications for which nausea and diarrhea are side effects.
Parasites can sometimes cause nausea and diarrhea.
Persistent diarrhea and nausea are symptoms of certain chronic conditions that should be evaluated by a doctor.
Thorough hand washing can help prevent many infections that cause nausea and diarrhea.
Lactose intolerance can be a cause of nausea and diarrhea.
Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The conditions capable of causing a person to develop nausea and diarrhea are both numerous and varied. Viruses and bacteria are among the most common causes of these symptoms. Ingested parasites often cause these symptoms as well. Certain medications may make a person feel nauseous and develop diarrhea, as can some types of long-term health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, a person may even develop nausea and diarrhea in relation to lactose intolerance.

When an individual develops nausea and diarrhea, it can be difficult to figure out the exact cause of the symptoms. This is due to the fact that there are so many possible causes of these symptoms. One of the most common causes of nausea and diarrhea is a virus that invades the body and causes illness; bacteria are frequently the culprit when these symptoms develop as well. Many people also contribute to the development of their own symptoms rather than being entirely innocent victims; failing to wash one’s hands properly often allows viruses and bacteria to find an easy way into the body.

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Sometimes parasites are the cause of nausea and diarrhea symptoms. For example, a person may consume a food that contains parasites and develop these symptoms as a result. There are also some parasites that make their way into the body through ingested water; they can cause these symptoms as well. As with bacterial and viral illnesses, parasitic conditions that cause digestive disturbances may also develop because of improper hand-washing techniques.

Medication use is also a potential source of problems with nausea and diarrhea. There are numerous medications for which diarrhea and nausea are side effects. In fact, a person may experience these symptoms after taking not only prescription medications, but also some types of over-the-counter drugs. For example, some types of antibiotics may cause these symptoms to develop.

Chronic health conditions may also cause or contribute to the development of nausea and diarrhea. For example, some people may have nausea and diarrhea when they have long-term conditions that effect the digestive tract, such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. Sometimes the medication used to treat long-term health conditions can cause this issue as well.

An individual may even feel nauseous and suffer from diarrhea because of lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body has a hard time digesting lactose, which is a type of sugar found in dairy products. When a person’s body has this difficulty, he is said to be lactose intolerant.

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