Does Diarrhea Cause Weight Loss? Things to know


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0. does diarrhea cause weight loss

Diarrhea refers to the frequent passage of loose, watery stools, causing the patient to lose a lot of water and electrolytes. As a result, your body will absorb fewer fluids and nutrients.

So, does diarrhea cause weight loss? The answer is yes. Prolonged diarrhea can cause dehydration, fatigue, weakness, and weight loss.

Specifically, you lose essential nutrients like calories, vitamins, protein, water, sodium, and potassium when you have this disease.

This article will go into detail on the topic. So let’s read on to discover!

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Does Diarrhea Cause Weight Loss?

1. Is having loose stools cause weight loss_

Is having loose stools cause weight loss?

The answer is Yes. Diarrhea can cause weight loss.

If you have had diarrhea for a long time, you may have lost a few pounds. The reason is that your body is not absorbing nutrients from food in time.

If you have diarrhea for the long run, you will lose a lot of body fluids in a short period. Your body will not be able to replace what you’ve lost as quickly.

Lack of Nutrition

The disease can also make you deficient in minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fats, leading to weight loss. The reason is that your body will be less able to absorb these essential nutrients if you have diarrhea.

Indications of dehydration in adults

  • Excessive thirst
  • No or little urination
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness, lightheadedness, or dizziness
  • Dark-colored urine

Indications of dehydration in infants or young children

  • Not having a wet diaper for more than three hours
  • Dry mouth or tongue
  • Fever above 39 C (102 F)
  • Drowsiness/unresponsiveness/ irritability
  • Sunken appearance to the eyes, cheeks, or abdomen
  • Crying without tears


Chronic diarrhea can leave you dehydrated, making you thirsty quickly. You will become severely dehydrated in the long run, leading to decreased urine output, fatigue, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure.

If you have acute diarrhea, your condition may become even more severe.

Dehydration is prevalent in children and the elderly. So, for all cases of diarrhea, rehydration is essential.

One of the simplest ways is to drink more. However, for more severe cases, you may need intravenous fluids.

Indications of dehydration in adults

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Changes in appetite
  • Greasy, loose, foul-smelling bowel movements

Indications of dehydration in infants or young children

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Changes in appetite
  • Greasy, loose, and foul-smelling bowel movements

In general, it is not life-threatening, but it does cause potential health complications. Therefore, you should solve it as soon as possible to maintain energy, nutrition, and a reasonable weight.

What Causes Diarrhea?

Diarrhea comes in four types. No matter what type of diarrhea you have, your body will absorb less or lose more nutrients than usual. So, you will lose weight.

Secretory Diarrhea

This disease occurs when excessive salt and water excretion is in the intestine. The cause may lie in bacteria’s toxins (such as E. coli), viruses, or caffeine.

Osmotic Diarrhea

You will get this disease due to the presence of solutes in the digestive tract that is poorly absorbed. It produces an osmotic effect, which refers to the movement of water from a low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration.

Its causes can be:

Exudative Diarrhea

In most cases, it results from damage to the intestinal lining, which leads to leakage of plasma proteins, blood, and mucus from the cells. When it does, it will increase the liquid content in the stool.

Rapid Intestinal Transit Diarrhea

It refers to an increase in pushing activity in your colon. Specifically, your colon is working harder than usual, which results in food moving faster through your digestive system. As a result, your body absorbs less water than it needs, resulting in excessively watery stools.

This type of diarrhea is the result of:

  • Surgical bypass
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gastric & intestinal resections
  • Abuse of antibiotics

Treatment Plan

If your case is not severe, it is unnecessary to take medicine.

Adults can take over-the-counter medications such as loperamide. It is okay to take medicine in tablet or liquid form.

You also need to stay hydrated by drinking at least two liters a day. We recommend tea with honey, chicken broth, and sports drinks.

Instead of supplementing with fluids during meals, it is wise to drink liquids between meals. Liquid probiotics also work well.

2. You should see a doctor and get a prescription and a reasonable diet

You should see a doctor and get a prescription and a reasonable diet

If your condition is more serious, seeing a doctor is essential. After seeing your doctor, you will be asked about your medical history and what medications you’re taking. In addition, your doctor may also ask about what you have eaten and drank recently.

After that, you may have to do some tests, which can diagnose the cause:

  • Blood tests
  • colonoscopy
  • Stool test for parasites or bacteria
  • And more

Dietary Recommendations

3. It is essential to drink plenty of water with sugar and salt to avoid dehydration

It is essential to drink plenty of water with sugar and salt to avoid dehydration

  • Add about 10 cups of fluid a day, such as broth, water, half-strength juice, or weak tea, and so on.
  • Adopt a diet that includes many small meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid fried or fatty foods
  • Don’t miss sources of soluble fiber
  • Limit foods high in sugar, such as candy, regular pop, chocolate milk, and large quantities of juice
  • Consult your doctor to get the proper diet

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Final Thoughts

Hopefully, by now, you’ve got the answer to, “Does diarrhea cause weight loss?”

Overall, it is not too complicated to treat. However, you shouldn’t let it get worse. See your doctor if your condition becomes more serious. It is essential to drink plenty of water with sugar and salt to avoid dehydration.

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Hi, I am Elizabeth Morgan, the brain behind Get Fierce I am a trainer and a blogger who loves to explore the fitness and health industry to help spread the word about its importance. Currently hovering in my late 30s, I have been insanely studying about health and fitness over the past ten years. Ever since I graduated from college with a major qualification in food and nutrition, I wanted to make myself useful for the betterment of the society.