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The passage of loose or watery stools, usually at more frequent than normal intervals. Diarrhea is a symptom of many diseases and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, griping, tenesmus, and other general or specific indications of a disease.

The more common specific disorders which may produce diarrhea include intestinal infections, such as dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever, food poisonings, and parasitic infestations; food sensitivities; drug and chemical irritation; and vitamin deficiency states.

Emotional and psychic disturbances frequently produce diarrhea and other visceral derangements. The poorly understood entities of regional enteritis and ulcerative colitis are perhaps related to these disturbances, as are other psychosomatic disorders.

Diarrhea is a common symptom in gastrointestinal obstruction or in inflammations from local infections or tumor invasion. Bacillary dysentery Food poisoning Medical parasitology

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From McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. The Content is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. The Work is © 2008 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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