What are the Most Common Chronic Diarrhea Causes?

Chronic diarrhea causes often involve different types of intestinal disorders. For instance, one common cause this type of diarrhea is inflammatory bowel disease. The condition can also be caused by fat malabsorption, another type of intestinal disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome and certain medications. Sometimes an intolerance to sugar can be an additional cause of ongoing diarrhea. There can also be other causes such as infections.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most common chronic diarrhea causes. Crohn's disease is one type of IBD that can cause this problem. Typically, Crohn's disease causes general digestive tract inflammation, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea that can be chronic or ongoing. Additionally, chronic diarrhea can be caused by ulcerative colitis, which is another IBD. In most cases, the colon and rectum are mainly compromised by ulcerative colitis, which can cause an ulceration in addition to inflammation.

Fat malabsorption can cause chronic diarrhea. This can happen if a person has a problem digesting fats. Sometimes, certain fatty foods will pass too quickly into the intestines of a person with this malabsorption problem. When these foods are consumed, the person may get a chronic case of diarrhea. In most cases, diarrhea relief may be obtained for this cause by dismissing fatty foods from one's diet.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another common chronic diarrhea cause. IBS generally involves the colon or large intestine of the digestive tract. Often, people with IBS will go from having chronic diarrhea to constipation and back again. Pain and cramping can also be experienced with this intestinal condition. Frequently, IBS symptoms such as chronic diarrhea will be initiated by certain triggers such as stress and eating certain foods.

Medications can also be chronic diarrhea causes. Chronic diarrhea may be a side effect of a newly started medicine or develop later on as a symptom of an old one. Antibiotics are medications that often cause this problem, although it is possible for over-the-counter medicines to cause ongoing diarrhea as well. For example, certain dietary supplements may also chronic diarrhea.

Chronic diarrhea causes can also include an intolerance to sugar and other types of sweeteners. When most people have an intolerance to sugar, he or she has a problem absorbing the substance. For this reason, when the individual eats or drinks a product containing sugar, water may instantaneously be pulled into the large intestine, resulting in diarrhea. Often, this may happen if a person eats or drinks a product containing an artificial sweetener, pure sugar, dairy products such as milk and foods containing fructose.

There can be some additional chronic diarrhea causes. For instance, when a person gets an infection, in particular an intestinal infection, he or she may have chronic diarrhea. This may also be true with the introduction of certain types of parasites, viruses and strands of bacteria into the intestines. For instance, bacterias such as Escherichia coli as well as salmonella commonly cause intestinal upsets such as chronic diarrhea. Although not in every case, sometimes bowel changes such as chronic diarrhea can be caused by a serious illness such as colon cancer.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?