Helpline
Speak to a registered nurse.
Call the Beating Bowel Cancer Helpline
(9-5:30 Mon - Thu, 9-4 Fri)

020 8973 0011

or email nurse@beatingbowelcancer.org

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the passing of increased amounts of loose stools or liquid stools and mucus – often associated with an urgency to go to the toilet. Most people will experience a bout of diarrhoea at some time.

Diarrhoea causes the body to lose a lot more fluid that normal, and it is very important to increase the amount of water you are drinking, and perhaps consider preparations which will also help to replace lost salts and sugar if the diarrhoea is severe, and especially if it is accompanied by sickness and vomiting. There are medicines which can help to control the symptoms and you should discuss your individual needs with your pharmacist for short term problems.

 

Causes of diarrhoea

Causes include infection, food poisoning or a side-effect of a course of medicines eg antibiotics (the diarrhoea should stop once the medicines are no longer taken).

 

Diarrhoea lasting three weeks or more can be a symptom of a number of disorders including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, lactose/gluten intolerance, ulcerative colitis or bowel cancer. In this case, it is important that you discuss the problems with your GP.