What is diarrhea?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020
  • Author: Stefano Guandalini, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Answer

Diarrhea is the reversal of the normal net absorptive status of water and electrolyte absorption to secretion. The augmented water content in the stools (above the normal value of approximately 10 mL/kg/d in the infant and young child, or 200 g/d in the teenager and adult) is due to an imbalance in the physiology of the small and large intestinal processes involved in the absorption of ions, organic substrates, and thus water.


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