Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt
Consultant of Endemic Diseases, Misr University for Science and Technology, Egypt
Diarrhea is the condition of having at least three (or more than in normal individual), loose,
liquid, or watery bowel movements each day, or for few days resulting in dehydration due to
fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and
irritable behavior by decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in
responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are exclusively
breastfed, however, are normal. Frequent passing of formed stools is neither diarrhea, nor
is the passing of loose, "pasty" stools by breastfed babies.
Diarrhea is usually a symptom of an infection in intestinal tract caused by many bacterial, viral
and parasitic organisms. Infection is spread through contaminated food or water, or from personto-
person as a result of poor hygiene.