What are complications of diarrhea?

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Dehydration is a particularly common problem for diarrhea, and it can be dangerous, especially in children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Diarrhea also causes a loss of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. Severe dehydration can be fatal. Caregivers should be prepared to seek medical attention, especially if diarrhea is accompanied by symptoms like blood in the stool, abdominal pain, or fever. Diarrhea can also lead to fecal incontinence -- an inability to control bowel movements -- which are particularly problematic if diarrhea is chronic. 

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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.