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Intestinal causes

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The cause for diarrhoea may be found in the large or small bowel.

  • in small bowel pathology:
    • abdominal pain, when present, is periumbilical or right iliac fossa
    • the frequency of defecation is often reduced
    • the stool may be well formed but it is bulky, offensive, and may be pale in colour
    • there may be signs and symptoms of malabsorption

  • in large bowel pathology:
    • there is often a defect in the reabsorption of water from the faeces
    • stools may be profuse and watery and/or mixed with blood and mucus
    • there may be lower abdominal pain with tenesmus and urgency

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