This post was last updated on\u00a0July 11, 2016\nAlmost everyone has an occasional bout of diarrhea. It is inconvenient, and many times, the exact cause is hard to determine. Diarrhea can often come out of nowhere and is frequently a symptom of food poisoning, a virus, or even stress.\nDiarrhea is one of the most commonly occurring health problems affecting all ages. Most adults will have at least four episodes of diarrhea each year. Bouts that come on suddenly may last up to 14 days.\nDiarrhea occurs when there is an increase in the number of bowel movements or bowel movements are more watery and loose than normal. When the intestines push stools through the bowel before the water in the stool can be reabsorbed, diarrhea occurs. It can also occur when inflammation of the bowel lining causes excess fluid to leak into the stool.\nIt is your body’s way of quickly clearing viruses, bacteria, or toxins from the digestive tract. Since most cases of diarrhea are viral, they will clear up in a few days with good home treatment.\n\n \nDiarrhea Symptoms\nSymptoms of diarrhea may include:\n\nAbdominal cramps\nNausea\nVomiting\nFever\nChills\nUrgent need to go to the bathroom\n\nRELATED:\u00a0Fiber and Irritable Bowel Syndrome\nWhat Causes Diarrhea?\nSome causes of diarrhea may include:\n\nFood poisoning\nStomach flu\nSome forms of inflammatory bowel disease including irritable bowel syndrome\nDrinking untreated water\nSome prescription and over-the-counter medications and antibiotics\nAnxiety\/emotional stress\n\nRELATED:\u00a0Can Stress Cause Digestive Disorders?\nHow Do You Treat Diarrhea?\nWhen experiencing a bout of diarrhea, try these coping strategies to manage your symptoms:\n\nRehydrate \u2013 drink water and electrolytes to replenish fluids lost through diarrhea.\nEat bland, safe foods \u2013 stick with soup, broth, and salty crackers. Slowly add in yogurt and complex carbohydrates like rice and bread.\nAvoid trigger foods \u2013 steer clear of foods and drinks containing caffeine, lots of sugar, fried and spicy foods, and dairy products.\n\nMany things can cause diarrhea, from environmental factors to chronic conditions. Pay attention to your symptoms and be sure to keep yourself hydrated and nourished until it clears up. If the problem continues longer than two days, contact your doctor.\nTo learn more about diarrhea and other digestive issues, visit the UPMC Digestive Disorders Center for more information or to speak with an expert.