In general, most cases of acute diarrhea are infectious and more likely viral than bacterial. As diarrhea persists, noninfectious causes become more common. Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and malabsorption syndromes can all cause diarrhea. Food can also be responsible for gastrointestinal symptoms. Common foods that cause diarrhea include sugar substitutes, coffee, alcohol, dairy, wheat, FODMAPs, spicy food and fast food. Read the full Prevention article here.