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Test your diarrhea knowledge!

True or false? Diarrhea should always be allowed to run its course.
This is false. Although there is a theory that diarrhea can help the body protect itself by flushing out bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins, there is currently not enough evidence to show that diarrhea is always effective in protecting the body. So in many cases, you do not need to let diarrhea run its course, and you can treat your diarrhea at home using over-the-counter treatments. However, you should consult your doctor first if you have a fever, severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, dark stools, severe vomiting, or more than 6 bowel movements per day (see "How to find diarrhea relief" for more situations where you should see your doctor). Children with diarrhea who are under 6 months of age, who have been vomiting for more than 4 hours, or who have any of the symptoms listed above should always be seen by a doctor.

True or false? Medications can cause diarrhea.
This is true. Diarrhea can be a side effect of many medications. Certain medications cause diarrhea more often, such as antibiotics, drugs for heartburn and stomach ulcers, cancer drugs, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen). If you have diarrhea after starting a new medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

True or false? If you have more than one bowel movement a day, you’ve got diarrhea.
This is false. Although many people think of "once a day" as the normal frequency for bowel movements, the normal range is anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week. So having more than one bowel movement per day does not necessarily mean you’ve got diarrhea. Diarrhea occurs when your stools are loose, watery, and more frequent than usual.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Diarrhea—Did-You-Know

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