A 21-year-old female asked:
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wouldn't it make sense that chronic diarrhea causes weight loss? less calories are being absorbed if the food exits sooner, no?

5 doctor answers
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience Pathology
Not necessarily: If the diarrhea is due to a issue with the colon, e.g., lactose intolerance, a person would not lose weight despite diarrhea. If the diarrhea is due to a pathology in the small intestine, then the person is more likely to lose weight. Wish you good health! - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex, if you have sex. Get HPV vaccine
Answered on May 8, 2018
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Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience Pathology
Provided original answer
Wish you good health!
May 8, 2018
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
52 years experience Infectious Disease
Not much: Most nutrients are rapidly absorbed in the upper intestintines. For a few days, diarrhea can result in weight loss, for the reason you state and because of the infection or other health problem causing the diarrhea. However, the body soon adjusts, with more efficient absorption of nutrients and more efficient matabolism. Diarrhea itself usually causes little or no weight loss.
Answered on May 8, 2018
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Dr. Mohamed Mansour
13 years experience Family Medicine
Yes: Yes, chronic diarrhea may cause weight loss but it is unhealthy way of weight loss. It is not normal human physiology to have chronic diarrhea.
Answered on May 20, 2018
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Dr. Hunter Handsfield
52 years experience Infectious Disease
But usually such weight loss is due to the underlying problem causing the diarrhea, not the diarrhea itself. If you’re thinking of inducing diarrhea for weight control, like excessively using laxatives, don’t go there. It won’t work at all and would risk serious health problems itself.
May 6, 2018
Dr. David Leszkowitz
A Verified Doctor answered
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Yes: Not so much as exits sooner as poor absorption
Answered on May 8, 2018
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Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Not particularly: There are people with irritable bowel syndrome that have daily diarrhea for years but maintain or even have trouble with excess weight gain. Nutrients are absorbed high in the digestive tract where poop is milkshake quality. The colon just extracts water as it passes to make it firm. Your simple idea assumes that the full length of the intestines does the same job, it does not.
Answered on May 8, 2018
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