What is chronic diarrhea?

Patsy Catsos
Nutrition & Dietetics

Chronic diarrhea is frequent, loose, watery stools lasting at least four weeks. Diarrhea that lasts more than a few days, especially if bloody or accompanied by a fever, should be evaluated and treated by your health care provider. Possible causes of of chronic diarrhea include:

  • Infection with bacteria, viruses or parasites
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance or dietary fructose intolerance
  • Food allergies
  • Intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Certain medications or supplements

Continue Learning about Diarrhea



Diarrhea is defined by having loose stools at least three times a day, sometimes accompanied by stomach pain and other symptoms. This disorder can lead to dehydration and other problems. For quick relief of diarrhea, over the coun...

ter medications can be helpful. If your symptoms persist for more than three days, or you have signs of dehydration, seek medical attention. Learn more about diarrhea from our experts.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.