Diarrhea is a common condition that causes watery stools. Typical causes include insufficient water absorption from bowel contents or extra fluid leaking into the stool. In most cases, the condition lasts two to four days, and the symptoms disappear without medical care. Chronic diarrhea lasts more than four weeks, intermittently or continuously, and it's symptomatic of an underlying medical condition.
Gastroenteritis describes an inflammation of the stomach or intestines. Bacteria, viruses or parasites cause it. When you have gastroenteritis, nausea and vomiting accompany diarrhea. In mild cases, you don't have to take medication, and the infection subsides naturally in a couple of days. The most important thing is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
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