When you eat food nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. The waste is pushed into the large intestine where the water is removed. Stool obtained is temporarily stored in the rectum and expelled from the body via the anus. The stools of a healthy person are usually firm, moist and easy to evacuate. Diarrhea is a frequent passage of soft, watery and unformed dung. Acute diarrhea is the sudden appearance of three or more stools, lasting less than 14 days. The most common cause of acute diarrhea is an intestinal infection, such as gastroenteritis or food poisoning. Viruses are responsible for most cases. The intestinal mucosa becomes irritated and inflamed, making it difficult for villi to absorb water. Acute diarrhea usually disappears after one to two days. Chronic diarrhea, which lasts four weeks or more, can be caused by many diseases affecting the intestines, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
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