Diarrhea: an unwelcome surprise or symptom
Diarrhea is defined as loosening of the stools, with a change in consistency, frequency and occasionally with an increase in urgency. After a meal, the small intestine absorbs fluid and nutrients from the food you’ve eaten. The colon absorbs most of the remaining liquid from digested food particles to form semisolid stools. Anything that disrupts this process may cause diarrhea.
Generally, diarrhea is a temporary condition. Sometimes, however, it can indicate more serious problems.
Causes of Diarrhea
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Lactose Intolerance
- Viral Infection
- Bacterial Infection
- Excessive Caffeine or Alcohol
Diarrhea can occasional be associated with Abdominal Pain. Diagnostic tests include stool studies to look for infection, blood work to evaluate potential causes, and occasionally an Upper Endoscopy and Colonoscopy to obtain biopsies from the small intestine and colon. Diarrhea ordinarily clears up on its own, without the need for antibiotics or other medications. During recovery take precautions to prevent dehydration and weakness. Contact Digestive Care Physicians, LLC, if your symptoms worsen:
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than three days or is accompanied by fever, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Blood in the stool
- Intense Abdominal Pain
Aftercare and Recovery
- Drink plenty of fluids: Try water, caffeine-free tea, diluted juices or beverages containing electrolytes, such as Gatorade or Powerade.
- Gradually add solid foods to your diet: Begin with easily digested food such as crackers, toast, rice, cereal, and chicken.
- Avoid anything that may prolong diarrhea: Wait a few days before consuming dairy products, fatty foods, spicy foods and beverages containing caffeine or alcohol.
- Don’t take antacids containing magnesium: Magnesium can cause diarrhea Dr. Ranvir Singh, Dr. Stephen Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Tammi D’Elena, PA-C, and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN, can get your system back on track. If your diarrhea lasts longer than 3 days, contact Digestive Care Physicians.
Board-Certified physicians Dr. Ranvir Singh, Dr. Stephen Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin J. Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Dr. Ruth Montalvo, Dr. Jae Kim, and providers Tammi D’Elena, PA-C and Vanessa T. Bridgeman, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC; care for patients in the North Atlanta, GA; area including Johns Creek, GA, Cumming, GA, Lawrenceville, GA, Alpharetta, GA, and Dawsonville, GA. The in-house endoscopy suite at Digestive Care Physicians is a certified facility which has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems, abdominal pain, or need a colorectal cancer screening, contact us at (770) 227-2222 to schedule an appointment.