Watery stool could be an indication of underlying medical problems. Here is a brief overview about the causes for the condition.
In a normal bowel movement, the stool will be firm and soft, with a brownish color. It is said that, normal stool has the consistency of peanut butter and can be passed without any strain. In some cases, changes in color, texture, and consistency of stools, are considered abnormal. Watery stool is one such condition, which can be caused by a number of reasons.
Watery Stool and Diarrhea
In normal cases, the water content is around 70% of the stool weight. An increase in water content is considered abnormal. While diarrhea is a condition characterized by yellow watery stools, all such cases cannot be considered diarrhea. In other words, watery stool is considered as diarrhea, only if there are more than three watery bowel movements per day. In that case, the total volume of stools per day must be more than 200 grams. Some people experience watery bowel movements that cannot be classified as diarrhea, as the daily frequency is less than three. However, it has been observed that, most of the cases are diarrhea, which can be caused by various reasons.
Causes of Watery Stool
- The most common cause is infection caused by microorganisms, like viruses, bacteria and other parasites. Infections caused by giardia, cryptosporidium and entamoeba, are very common.
- Those with food intolerance may experience watery stools, whenever they are exposed to such foods. It is usually found in people with lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and other such conditions. This happens due to the inability of the intestine to process such foods. In some cases, those with food allergies may develop diarrhea as an allergic reaction.
- Medical conditions of the intestine may also cause loose stools. They include inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In such cases, the affected people may either experience frequent diarrhea or watery stool that does not amount to diarrhea.
- Another medical condition that may cause loose stool is malabsorption syndrome, which is characterized by the inability of the intestines to absorb nutrients as well as water. Those with this condition may experience watery and greasy stools that float.
- There are certain organs that are indirectly involved in digestion and absorption. Medical conditions that affect such organs may also cause watery stool. Liver diseases and gallstones are examples for such conditions.
- It has also been noted that, stress, depression and anxiety, may cause watery stools, along with other symptoms. Even intake of certain medication and foods may sometimes affect the consistency of stools.
- Watery stools in infants can be caused by infections, food intolerance and allergy. Make sure to prevent dehydration in babies, by increasing their fluid consumption. Consult the doctor, and get the condition treated at the earliest.
- Yellow and green watery stools can be experienced by those, who are on a liquid diet. Likewise, black watery stool can also be an indication of underlying health problems. The most common causes for this condition are peptic ulcers and gastric cancer.
If you experience watery stools frequently, consult the health care provider, to rule out the possibility of underlying causes. Even the color of watery diarrhea must be noted, so that the exact problem can be diagnosed properly. Apart from watery stools, the affected person may develop other symptoms, that may vary with the underlying cause.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.