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Bloating, gas, and watery, soft bowel movements characterize loose stool or diarrhea. While some causes of diarrhea can be attributed to singular instances such as eating too much greasy or spicy food or alcohol consumption, others are more serious, from a virus to an underlying digestive disease or illness. Recurring diarrhea can result in dehydration and other complications.

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1. Changes in Diet

Some people cannot digest lactose, gluten, or alcohol sugars, and eating them results in loose stools or a bout of diarrhea (frequent loose stools over a period of days). Sugar alcohols exist in fruits, vegetables, and artificial flavorings. Greasy food with high amounts of fat, or overly spicy foods can cause excess mucus to form in the gut and small intestine, making the food travel faster and causing looser stools.

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