Guidelines for the investigation of chronic diarrhoea in adults: BSG, 3rd edition

British Society of Gastroenterology - BSG
British Society of Gastroenterology
Publication date:
11 March 2018


Chronic diarrhoea is a common problem, hence clear guidance on investigations is required. This is an updated guideline from 2003 for the investigations of chronic diarrhoea commissioned by the Clinical Services and Standards Committee of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG). This document has undergone significant revision in content through input by 13 members of the Guideline Development Group (GDG) representing various institutions. The GRADE system was used to appraise the quality of evidence and grading of recommendations.


These guidelines deal with clinical assessment in primary and secondary care of a patient with diarrhoea, the exclusion of cancer or inflammation, and detecting common disorders such as bile acid diarrhoea, microscopic colitis, lactose malabsorption or post radiation diarrhoea, together with rarer causes of malabsorption and surgical disorders. Options for therapy are not dealt with as it is beyond the remit of this guideline, nor has the cost effectiveness of investigations been addressed due to paucity of available evidence.