What Is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea can be defined as loose, watery bowel movements and usually happen more often than normal bowel movements. Having loose stools three times a day or more is considered diarrhea.
Usually, diarrhea only lasts for a short period of time, but chronic or persistent diarrhea can point to a much more serious complication.
What Can Cause Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a generally common condition. Most of us have experienced watery and loose stools after eating some bad food, during stressful times in our lives, or after starting a new medication. It can sometimes indicate that something more serious is going on in your body. Here is a list of possible habits or conditions that can cause diarrhea:
- Bacteria and parasites from contaminated food or water
- Lactose intolerance
- Alcohol abuse
- Laxative abuse
- Overactive thyroid
- Radiation therapy
- Runner’s Diarrhea
- Some cancers
- Fructose- difficulty digesting it
- Artificial sweeteners in your diet
- Surgery- sometimes abdominal and gallbladder removal surgeries can cause diarrhea
- Malabsorption-trouble absorbing certain nutrients
How Can I Relieve My Diarrhea?
The most important thing to do is to drink plenty of fluids to replace the fluids being lost during watery bowel movements. You can also include bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast into your diet. If you believe you have a virus or bacteria, antibiotics or antivirals might be prescribed. You can also use over the counter medications with your physician’s oversight.
What Conditions and Diseases Manifest Themselves Through Diarrhea?
There are several conditions, diseases, and cancers that manifest themselves through diarrhea. Some of these conditions include:
- Food poisoning
- Colon cancer
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Lactose Intolerance
- Gluten Intolerance
- Gallbladder disease
- Colorectal Polyps
Diarrhea is manifested in several GI issues. That is why it is important to not self diagnose and seek a doctor if severe diarrhea develops. Read some of our suggestions below on when you should visit a doctor.
When Should I Visit A Gastroenterologist?
When your diarrhea becomes severe contact a TDDC gastroenterologist as soon as possible. Some signs of severe diarrhea include:
- Diarrhea accompanied by a fever
- Lasts longer than 2 days
- Dark urine and diarrhea
- Severe stomach pain
- Vomiting accompanied by diarrhea
- After a vacation in a foreign country
If any of these issues manifest themselves, it is important to contact a gastroenterologist, but it is better to be safe than sorry; if you feel that you should visit a gastroenterologist because of diarrhea do not hesitate to do so.