The Rome II Conference provided criteria for the diagnosis of functional diarrhea.


(1) >= 12 weeks duration out of the past 12 months, not necessarily consecutive

(2) liquid, mushy or watery stools

(3) present > 75% of the time

(4) no abdominal pain

(5) exclusion of other causes of chronic diarrhea without abdominal pain (lactose intolerance, etc.)


Differential diagnosis:

(1) pseudodiarrhea (frequent defecation with urgency and solid stools)

(2) irritable bowel disease


Findings which should prompt a more extensive workup:

(1) large volume of stool

(2) rectal bleeding (other than from hemorrhoids)

(3) nutritional deficiency

(4) weight loss

(5) abdominal pain

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