Types of Acute Diarrhoea

Everyone is different and people can find it difficult to identify the cause of their diarrhoea.

There are many different reasons people get diarrhoea. From the widely known Travellers’ Diarrhoea to Norovirus, each one is different and all of them can disrupt how you go about your daily life. Acute diarrhoea is a sudden short-lived attack of diarrhoea.

Some of the main causes of
diarrhoea Frequent and Occasional Diarrhoea

When you get diarrhoea, it means loose or watery stools, and people can often experience abdominal pain, cramps and bloating too. Most people only experience diarrhoea from time to time, but some people can get diarrhoea rather more frequently. Typically episodes of diarrhoea clear up within a few days, but can last longer. Longer lasting or persistently recurrent diarrhoea can indicate an underlying medical condition, so you may need to consult your doctor.

NHS Choices recommends you should consult your GP if you have:

  • Recently been treated in hospital
  • Recently been treated with antibiotics
  • Diarrhoea that has blood in it
  • Diarrhoea and persistent vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bleeding from your rectum (back passage)
  • Passed large volumes of very watery diarrhoea – you may be at risk of dehydration (see below)
  • Symptoms at night that are disturbing your sleep
  • Diarrhoea that lasts longer than 24 hours
You want to know what kind of diarrhoea you have.

Treat early, feel better faster, and help reduce loss of fluids and salts that can leave you feeling weak and tired.

Find out why

Find out why

Other types of diarrhoea

To help you understand your body better, here are some of the common types of diarrhoea:

  • Travellers’ diarrhoea: when you’re abroad it’s easy to get foreign bugs or food poisoning
  • Infectious: unfortunately, there are numerous infections that can lead to diarrhoea
  • Norovirus: If you catch the Winter Vomiting Bug, it’s likely diarrhoea will be a symptom
  • Diarrhoea in children: Unfortunately a common problem for kids*, as they are less immune to some of the bugs we encounter in everyday life.

Why treat diarrhoea?

Some people just let a bout of diarrhoea run its course, but why leave it untreated when you can relieve diarrhoea, get on with your day, and help reduce the loss of fluids and salts that can leave you feeling weak and tired. Get your life back in rhythm by treating symptoms earlier.

*IMODIUM® is not suitable for children under 12 years of age.