Diarrhea (or diarrhoea) (from the Greek διάρροια, δια dia "through" + ρέω rheo "flow" meaning "flowing through") is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte disturbances such as potassium deficiency or other salt imbalances.
In 2009 diarrhea was estimated to have caused 1.1 million deaths in people aged 5 and over and 1.5 million deaths in children under the age of 5. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) with modest amounts of salts and zinc tablets are the treatment of choice and have been estimated to have saved 50 million children in the past 25 years. In cases where ORS is not available, homemade solutions are often used.