Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

Does Diarrhea Cause Weight Loss?

When you have diarrhoea, your bowel movements are watery and loose. Worry not, because most of the time, diarrhoea is nothing serious. It’s common, and people experience diarrhoea at some point and even sometimes, a few times in a year. 

Diarrhoea can last up to 2 to 3 days. Some people are more prone to diarrhoea than others since our digestive systems react differently from each other. However, what if it lasts long? 

In rare cases, diarrhoea can last more than three days. You may need several trips to your bathroom to ease your bowel movements. With all the bio matter removed from your system, are you currently losing weight?

Diarrhoea And Weight Loss 

Does Diarrhea Cause Weight Loss

Diarrhoea that lasts more than three days will most likely cause weight loss. Sometimes, even severe weight loss. When that happens, you need to visit a doctor asap.

There are many causes of diarrhoea, such as traveller’s diarrhoea, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, or stomach flu. Some of the causes of diarrhoea are mostly avoidable, but some are caused by other medical conditions. 

We are going to discuss the different causes of diarrhoea to inform ourselves. Do note, however, that the discussion of the causes is not a substitute for professional advice. Seek professional medical help if your symptoms are getting worse. 

Causes Of Diarrhea 

Traveller’s Diarrhea

Professional medical experts identify travellers’ diarrhoea as a digestive tract disorder that causes loose stools and abdominal cramps. As the name suggests, you can contract this diarrhoea during your travels. The cause of this diarrhoea is eating unfamiliar or contaminated food or drinks during your travel. 

When you visit a new place, your stomach is not used to their climate or sanitary practices. Travelling a lot will greatly increase the chances of contracting traveller’s diarrhoea. The unfamiliarity will “shock” your stomach causing loose and watery bowel movements. 

Symptoms of a traveller’s diarrhoea may start suddenly two or three days during or after your trip. Fortunately, within two to three days, your digestive system will recover itself completely. However, it can happen several times during your trip. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, is a common condition that affects the digestive system.

The symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhoea, bloating, and constipation. IBS typically happens once in a while, but it can last for days, weeks, or even months. When it comes or goes isn’t definitive.

For some, this syndrome is a lifelong problem, and they can only adapt. It’s frustrating, but they have no choice, and they can only wait for it to happen and deal with it. 

There’s no cure for IBS. Only through meds and diet changes can the syndrome be managed. The cause of the syndrome is unknown, but it has been linked to oversensitive guts or food moving too fast or too slow.

Food Poisoning 

Food poisoning is the result of eating toxic, spoiled, or contaminated food. The most common symptoms of food poisoning are vomiting, diarrhoea, and nausea. The experience is very uncomfortable, and it does happen quite a lot too.

While America is a first-world country, it still experiences several cases of food poisoning. Around 48 million Americans each year experience food poisoning. That’s roughly 1 in 6 Americans. Each year, food poisoning causes 128,000  hospitalizations and 3,00 deaths.

If you experience food poisoning, you will notice it at some point. Symptoms can vary a lot, and it can appear 1 hour after eating or even as much as 28 days later. 

Food poisoning can become deadly if not addressed immediately. Some symptoms indicate life-threatening food poisoning, and here are some of them:

  • Fever higher than 101.5°F
  • Diarrhoea that persists more than three days
  • Having difficulty speaking or seeing
  • Dehydration
  • Bloody Urine

There are several causes of food poisoning, such as bacterial, parasites, and viruses. Anyone at any age can be vulnerable to food poisoning. Statistically speaking, you will experience food poisoning at least once in your life.

A few can experience more severe cases of food poisoning if they have a suppressed immune system or auto-immune disease. Fortunately, most of the time, food poisoning goes away on its own after three to five days. 

How To Prevent Diarrhea 

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Every day, you touch several things such as doorknobs, switches, keyboards, and pretty much anything you need to touch. When you touch, you’ve been in contact with bacteria and viruses. 

At some point throughout the day, you may be touching your mouth with your contaminated hand. That’s when bacterias and viruses can enter their mouth and into your digestive system.

Here are some hygiene tips you can use to prevent diarrhoea:

  • Wash your hands before you eat and when using the bathroom
  • Wash your hands after touching animals
  • When you can’t wash your hands, use alcohol or hand sanitisers
  • Always wash your children’s hands because they touch anything

Next, you have to keep your food clean to avoid diarrhoea, and here is what you can do:

  • Cook meat thoroughly 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid raw eggs
  • Store perishable food in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Keep utensils clean
  • Don’t handle food when you are sick with diarrhoea

How To Manage Diarrhea

Diarrhoea, in most cases, passes by after a couple of days. If you want to better manage your diarrhoea now, here are something you can do:

  • Intaking antibiotic or anti-parasitic medications. If viruses are the cause, these medications can’t help.
  • Intaking fluids. You will lose a lot of fluids when you have diarrhoea, replace them with water, juice, broth, and salt. 

Diarrhoea and Weight Loss

We do lose weight when we experience diarrhoea, but if you are using it for weight loss, don’t. Effective weight loss is about burning fats and calories—not fluids. The weight loss your experience in diarrhoea is caused by loss of fluids, not fats.

Once you go back to your daily routine, you will gain the weight back since you will inevitably drink water again.