What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a very common condition defined as having loose or watery bowel movements that occur at a more frequent rate than normal.  Most of the time, diarrhea will stop on its own.  However, if the condition is persistent, is associated with GI bleeding, or leads to dehydration, an evaluation with a gastroenterologist should be requested.

When should I see a doctor for Diarrhea in Plano TX?

Diarrhea usually goes away on its own within 48 hours without medication. The most important thing you can do is to stay hydrated while it runs its course. However, if the diarrhea persists for more than 3 days it is recommended that you see a doctor. Also, if you experience any of the following symptoms I recommended seeing physician immediately:

What are common causes of Diarrhea in Plano TX?

Typically your colon will absorb liquids from the food you eat, which leaves a semi-solid stool. However, if the liquids are not properly absorbed you will have a watery bowel movement. Possible causes of diarrhea include:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colon Cancer or Colon Polyps
  • Microscopic Colitis
  • Infections (viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc)
  • Medications
  • Celiac Sprue
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Endocrine Abnormalities
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What tests are used in evaluating Diarrhea in Plano TX?

Acute diarrhea is defined as less than 14 days of three or more loose or watery stools per day. For acute diarrhea the most common tests are simple blood, urine, and stool laboratory studies.

Chronic diarrhea is defined as the symptoms of diarrhea lasting longer than one month. Tests for chronic diarrhea can include laboratory studies, imaging studies, colonoscopy, endoscopy, capsule endoscopy and even more specific blood and stool studies.

What Remedies are available for Diarrhea in Plano TX?

For acute diarrhea, the focus of treatment is to maintain adequate hydration status by drinking plenty of non-caffeinated, lactose-free drinks (ie. fruit juice without pulp, sport drinks, non-caffeinated sodas, Pedialyte, etc.). Diet should consist of soft easily digested foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, crackers, noodles, and soup. An anti-diarrheal agent such as loperamide (Imodium) can be used to decrease the frequency of bowel movements but should not be used if the diarrhea is bloody or accompanied by fever.

Persistent diarrhea requires a work-up by a gastroenterologist in Plano TX and treatment is based on the results of the medical work-up and the diagnosis.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition