Chronic diarrhea causes

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Chronic diarrhea Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Chronic diarrhea from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


Chest X Ray




Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Omodamola Aje B.Sc, M.D. [2]


Depending on the socioeconomic status of the population, chronic diarrhea can be caused by several factors. In a developing nation, the most likely causes of chronic diarrhea are mycobacterial and parasitic infections, while functional disorders such as malabsorption and inflammatory bowel diseases are less likely causes. In a developed nation, however, the most likely causes of diarrhea are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption syndromes (such as lactose intolerance and celiac disease), and chronic infections (particularly in patients who are immunocompromised).


Life threatening causes

There are no life-threatening causes of chronic diarrhea; however, complications resulting from untreated chronic diarrhea are common.

Common causes

There following are some of the common causes of chronic diarrhea:[1][2][3][4][5]

Drugs that commonly cause diarrhea[6][7][8]


  1. Jamma S, Rubio-Tapia A, Kelly CP, Murray J, Najarian R, Sheth S; et al. (2010). "Celiac crisis is a rare but serious complication of celiac disease in adults". Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 8 (7): 587–90. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2010.04.009. PMC 2900539. PMID 20417725.
  2. Manning AP, Thompson WG, Heaton KW, Morris AF (1978). "Towards positive diagnosis of the irritable bowel". Br Med J. 2 (6138): 653–4. PMC 1607467. PMID 698649.
  3. Mekhjian HS, Switz DM, Melnyk CS, Rankin GB, Brooks RK (1979). "Clinical features and natural history of Crohn's disease". Gastroenterology. 77 (4 Pt 2): 898–906. PMID 381094.
  4. Silverberg MS, Satsangi J, Ahmad T, Arnott ID, Bernstein CN, Brant SR; et al. (2005). "Toward an integrated clinical, molecular and serological classification of inflammatory bowel disease: report of a Working Party of the 2005 Montreal World Congress of Gastroenterology". Can J Gastroenterol. 19 Suppl A: 5A–36A. PMID 16151544.
  5. Veress B, Löfberg R, Bergman L (1995). "Microscopic colitis syndrome". Gut. 36 (6): 880–6. PMC 1382626. PMID 7615277.
  6. Branski D, Lerner A, Lebenthal E (1996). "Chronic diarrhea and malabsorption". Pediatr Clin North Am. 43 (2): 307–31. PMID 8614603.
  7. Kroschinsky F, Stölzel F, von Bonin S, Beutel G, Kochanek M, Kiehl M; et al. (2017). "New drugs, new toxicities: severe side effects of modern targeted and immunotherapy of cancer and their management". Crit Care. 21 (1): 89. doi:10.1186/s13054-017-1678-1. PMC 5391608. PMID 28407743.
  8. Philip NA, Ahmed N, Pitchumoni CS (2017). "Spectrum of Drug-induced Chronic Diarrhea". J Clin Gastroenterol. 51 (2): 111–117. doi:10.1097/MCG.0000000000000752. PMID 28027072.

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