It’s hard to say. Multiple conditions and contributing factors can lead to liquid bowel movements. Examples include:
- acute illness, such as from exposure to bacteria, viruses, or even parasites that irritate the digestive tract;
- constipation, as liquid stool can escape around harder pieces of stool in the rectum that are difficult to pass;
- digestive tract disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or celiac disease;
- history of damage to the anal sphincter due to childbirth;
- history of surgery to the rectum or anus, such as hemorrhoid removal, tumor removal, or to treat anal abscesses and fistulas;
- malabsorption syndromes that occur because your body can’t absorb certain compounds, such as dairy, carbohydrates, or sugars.
You are suggested to see a gastroenterologist who may obtain a stool sample and send it to the lab to test for the presence of certain bacteria or viruses. Your doctor also may recommend interventions, such as examining the intestinal lining via a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.