Associated Diarrhea Symptoms
There are many other symptoms that often accompany this problem:
Blood in the stools
Mucus in the stools
Black tarry stools (The medical term for this is melena and it means there is old blood in the stools from high up in the intestinal tract)
Constipation-with overflow (This sounds contradictory but sometimes constipation can cause a blockage and feces will overflow around the sides causing diarrhea)
Loss of appetite
When to contact your doctor
If your diarrhea symptoms only last for 24-48 hours and you do not have other symptoms then it is not necessary to see a doctor but there are situations where it is important to get medical help. It depends on the symptoms and who is ill.
Red Flag Signs, Symptoms and History
There are certain signs and symptoms of diarrhea which can indicate to your doctor that something more serious may be going on and you may have an underlying health condition. A sign is something which can been seen by you or your doctor and a symptom is something that you feel, although this word is often used in a more general way by many people to describe anything associated with their illness.
If you have any of these red flags with your diarrhea symptoms then you should contact your health care practitioner:
Diarrhea with no pain
Weight loss but with a normal appetite
Blood when you open your bowels. This includes black tarry stools which indicates old blood and is in fact more worrying than fresh blood
Chronic diarrhea, especially if you are over the age of 45
Your bowel habits have changed in the last 3 months
You are very tired, possibly indicating anemia
You have a family history of bowel diseases
If diarrhea is regularly disturbing your sleep.