How is acute diarrhea defined?

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

Acute diarrhea is defined as the abrupt onset of 3 or more loose stools per day. 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. A common disorder in its acute form, diarrhea has many causes and may be mild to severe.


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