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  • Writer's pictureGaurav Arora, MD

The Runs (Chronic Diarrhea)

Chronic diarrhea is when a person has loose or watery stools (poop) for a long time, usually more than 4 weeks. It can be very uncomfortable and make it hard to do everyday things.

There are a few things that can make a person more likely to have chronic diarrhea:

  • Eating certain foods that the person is sensitive to

  • Certain medical conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease

  • Taking certain medications

  • Stress

  • Bacterial or viral infections


If a person has chronic diarrhea, there are a few things they can do to help themselves feel better. Some things they can try include:

  • Drinking more water to stay hydrated

  • Avoiding foods that they think might be causing the diarrhea

  • Taking over-the-counter medications like bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) or loperamide (Imodium)

  • Eating foods that are easy to digest


If the diarrhea persists, it's important to see a doctor who will help diagnose the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. Prescription medications may also be recommended.


Chronic diarrhea can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, but with the help of a doctor and appropriate treatment, most people can find relief. It's important to see a doctor if the diarrhea persists for more than a few days or is accompanied by other symptoms such as significant weight loss or blood in the stool.

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