What causes diarrhea & upset stomach?

Updated November 21, 2016

Diarrhoea and upset stomach are inevitable discomforts that everyone faces at one time or another. This type of condition is usually brought on by diet, but these symptoms can also be a result of a virus or underlying medical condition. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, taking lipase enzyme supplements may help relieve symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a medical condition that causes severe stomach upset and diarrhoea from spasms in the colon. The muscles in the colon cramp up, which also results in bloating and fatigue. This syndrome is often due to stress and anxiety or muscles in the digestive tract that do not function properly. Eating junk food can irritate the bowels and cause IBS attacks. According to the MedicineNet website, food allergies may also be the cause.

Flu Virus

The flu virus is another cause of stomach upset and diarrhoea. There are several different strains of the flu virus and some are more aggressive than others. The symptoms vary from mild to severe depending on the type of flu virus.

People who suffer with the flu may also have other symptoms such as a fever, chills and fatigue. Constant diarrhoea may cause dehydration so it's vital to drink plenty of fluids when you are battling the flu.

High-Fat Diet

A high-fat diet can cause upset stomach and diarrhoea in some people. Eating too many fatty foods creates a heavy burden on the body. Foods high in fat cause the liver to produce more bile to assist the body with digesting the fat. The excess bile can result in upset stomach and diarrhoea. Consuming high-fat foods over a long period of time may result in gallbladder attacks.

The gallbladder is a tiny pear-shaped organ connected to the liver. This organ assists the liver by storing bile. When the gallbladder is overworked, stones can develop. When a stone becomes lodged in a bile duct, this causes sharp pains, described as a gallbladder attack.

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