What is it?

Ongoing diarrhea. It can be frustrating and very inconvenient. Fortunately, diarrhea usually lasts for only hours, or sometimes days.1,2 But if it lasts more than 2 weeks, it’s not just ongoing diarrhea anymore. Known as persistent diarrhea, it could be caused by a more serious underlying condition.2-4 The sooner you find the answers, the sooner your doctor can determine a treatment plan.


What causes persistent diarrhea?

There are so many possible causes of persistent diarrhea.

Some examples—just to name a few—include intestinal inflammation, celiac disease, bile acid malabsorption, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and pathogens (eg, “bugs” like bacteria, viruses, and parasites).5-10

Diarrhea is actually a symptom, not a disease, that’s common with dozens of different conditions. That’s why it is so challenging to pinpoint the exact underlying cause.3,6


Diagnosing persistent diarrhea

Currently, finding the cause of persistent diarrhea is often a slow, time-consuming, and sometimes challenging process. There are often many lab tests and follow-up visits over a period of weeks or months. Doctors use these tests and their years of experience to “rule out” all possible causes, often one by one, before arriving at a diagnosis.3,5,6,11

Because the causes of persistent diarrhea can range from infectious bugs (disease-promoting bacteria, viruses, or parasites) to noninfectious conditions like celiac disease, different types of tests are needed. A stool test may be used to help detect infectious bugs (called pathogens) while other conditions like celiac disease can only be detected from blood samples (or an intestinal biopsy).3,5,6

What if there was a convenient way for your doctor to test both stool and blood for many common causes all at 1 time? The PROMETHEUS® IBcause™ Diagnostic Test makes it possible.

IBcause. Because you and your doctor want to know.

About IBcause™  


  1. 1.Diarrhea signs and symptoms. UCSF Medical Center Web site. www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/diarrhea. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  2. 2.Diarrhea. Cleveland Clinic Web site. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/diarrhea. Last reviewed August 15, 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  3. 3.Navaneethan U, Giannella RA. Definition, epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical classification, and differential diagnosis of diarrhea. In: Guandalini S, Vaziri H, eds. Diarrhea: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Advances. New York, NY: Humana Press; 2011:1-31.

  4. 4.Hygiene-related diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/disease/chronic_diarrhea.html. Updated August 18, 2011. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  5. 5.DuPont HL. Persistent diarrhea: a clinical review. JAMA. 2016;315(24):2712-2723.

  6. 6.Juckett G, Trivedi R. Evaluation of chronic diarrhea. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(10):1119-1126.

  7. 7.Gujral N, Freeman HJ, Thomson AB. Celiac disease: prevalence, diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(42):6036-6059.

  8. 8.Hodges K, Gill R. Infectious diarrhea: cellular and molecular mechanisms. Gut Microbes. 2010;1(1):4-21.

  9. Spiller R, Lam C. An update on post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome: role of genetics, immune activation, serotonin and altered microbiome. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012;18(3):258-268.

  10. 9.Barkun AN, Love J, Gould M, Pluta H, Steinhart H. Bile acid malabsorption in chronic diarrhea: pathophysiology and treatment. Can J Gastroenterol. 2013;27(11):653-659.

  11. 10.Fine KD, Schiller LR. AGA technical review on the evaluation and management of chronic diarrhea. Gastroenterology. 1999;116(6):1464-1486.