Common Questions Asked About Diarrhea
Diarrhea isn’t typically a cause for concern. However, if it lasts for more than a few days or displays additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, or pain in the abdomen and rectal area, then you should see a specialist. Diarrhea treatment specialists are available at Digestive Disease Care (DDC). For more information, please contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Babylon NY, East Setauket NY, Forest Hills NY, Jamaica NY, Jericho NY, Lake Success NY, Melville NY, Mineola NY, Massapequa NY and New Hyde Park NY.
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Sometimes the normal process of getting waste out of your body changes, the condition of diarrhea is characterized by loose or watery stools. Most of the time, this condition will resolve on its own without any intervention from the doctor.
There are many reasons why diarrhea occurs, and it usually goes away on its own in one to three days. It is common for diarrhea sufferers to run to the bathroom with urgency and this may happen more often than usual. Other symptoms may include feeling bloated, experiencing cramps in the lower abdomen, and experiencing nausea.
Even though diarrhea is usually self-limiting (happens for a fixed period of time and is of a steady severity), it can sometimes have serious complications. In addition to dehydration (when your body loses large amounts of water), electrolyte imbalance (loss of sodium, potassium, and magnesium that are essential for vital bodily functions), and kidney failure (the kidneys do not receive enough blood or fluid). You lose water and electrolytes along with stool when you have diarrhea. It’s important to replace what’s lost by drinking plenty of fluids. If dehydration does not resolve (get better), worsens, and is not properly treated, it can become serious.
The classification of diarrhea can actually be divided into several categories. Acute diarrhea is the most common. Diarrhea that lasts for one to two days is classified as acute diarrhea. A few days usually pass before this type goes away without treatment. The duration of persistent diarrhea generally ranges from two to four weeks. Long-term diarrhea or diarrhea that comes and goes regularly for more than four weeks is chronic diarrhea.
In contrast to chronic diarrhea, acute and persistent diarrhea may be caused by different factors. Most of the time, doctors are unable to find the cause of diarrhea. The majority of diarrhea goes away on its own within 4 days, so finding the cause is not necessary.
Infections, travelers’ diarrhea, and medicines are the most common causes of acute and persistent diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea can be caused by infections, food allergies or intolerances, digestive tract problems, abdominal surgery, or long-term medication use. It is possible to get chronic diarrhea from allergies to foods such as cow’s milk, eggs, soy, cereal grains, and seafood.
Viral infections, parasitic infections, and bacterial infections can all commonly lead to diarrhea.
Mild diarrhea can usually be treated at home without any complications. Most people feel better very quickly by taking over-the-counter medications.
In some cases, over-the-counter medication does not provide a solution to diarrhea. Treatment for diarrhea caused by infection or parasites requires the help of a healthcare provider. When you have diarrhea and a fever or a bloody stool, you shouldn’t use over-the-counter medicines and should speak to your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will determine the cause of diarrhea if it lasts for a long time (more than several weeks). Antibiotics, probiotics, and different condition-specific types of medication may be administered depending on the cause and nature of diarrhea.
Normally, diarrhea is nothing more than a temporary inconvenience, but sometimes it can indicate a serious health problem. Getting your child medical attention if diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours is a good idea. A doctor’s appointment may be necessary if an adult experiences diarrhea for longer than 3 days. Diarrhea that presents with additional symptoms is also a cause for medical attention. Symptoms such as fever, blood in the stool, or severe abdominal or rectal pain may suggest the diarrhea is more serious.
Diarrhea treatment is available at Digestive Disease Care. We have convenient locations to serve you in Babylon NY, East Setauket NY, Forest Hills NY, Jamaica NY, Jericho NY, Lake Success NY, Melville NY, Mineola NY, Massapequa NY and New Hyde Park NY, and BEYOND.
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