When to Seek Diarrhea Treatment

Suffering from acute diarrhea can greatly reduce your ability to enjoy your life to the fullest. Whether symptoms are mild or severe, large amounts of water and salts from within your body can be lost, causing dehydration, bouts of fever, abdominal pain, or cramping. Diarrhea is defined as having three or more loose or watery stools per day. If you are currently experiencing these symptoms, you should seek diarrhea treatment at the Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York in Garden City, NY, and East Setauket, NY. Our doctors can help diagnose the cause, ease the symptoms, and provide the necessary treatment.

What Causes Acute Diarrhea?

infection causing diarrheaParasitic, viral, or bacterial infection is typically related to cases of acute diarrhea, as is irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. Some of the common causes of diarrhea include:

Parasites: Parasites can enter the body either through the intake of food or water, and settle in the digestive system. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): One of the symptoms of IBS is frequent, loose stools. 

Food and Lactose Intolerance: Digestive issues can make it difficult for some patients to properly digest artificial sweeteners and lactose that is often found in dairy products. 

Viral Infection: A wide variety of infections such as viral hepatitis, Norwalk virus, rotavirus, and more, can cause diarrhea. 

Intestinal Disease: Colon and intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and celiac disease commonly cause diarrhea. 

Dehydration Concerns

Patients with chronic diarrhea can have as many as 20 or more bowel movements per day, resulting in extreme dehydration. With each bowel movement, the body loses nutrients and liquids that contain the electrolytes needed to keep the body healthy and hydrated. Some symptoms of dehydration include: 

  • Dry skin
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Infrequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine

It is recommended to rehydrate by consuming foods and drinks that contain electrolytes, such as soups, fruit juices, soft fruits, or potassium-rich foods. 

Everyone at some point in their life will experience a case of diarrhea, but it is important to be cognizant of the fact that if it persists, it can be a sign of more serious concerns.

Why It is Important to Seek Treatment

Mild cases of diarrhea are typically nothing to be overly concerned about. However, if it persists, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. During an examination, we can run a diagnostic test to ensure that you are in overall good health. The exam may consist of stool culture, blood tests, imaging tests, and a full review of your medical history. 

If you are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, dry mouth, muscle cramps, dark-colored urine, or lightheadedness, and these symptoms do not dissipate after 48 hours, you should seek treatment. Other reasons for seeking immediate treatment include:

  • A stool that contains splotches of blood or mucus
  • Bloody or black bowel movements
  • More than six liquid bowel movements in a 24-hour period
  • Severe abdominal pain while passing a stool

Regain Comfort and Good Health

Everyone at some point in their life will experience a case of diarrhea, but it is important to be cognizant of the fact that it if persists, it can be a sign of more serious concerns. Our doctors offer a full diagnostic test to determine if you are in good health, as well as offer advanced treatments to ease the symptoms of diarrhea. To learn more about us, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today

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