Diarrhea is typically not a serious illness. However, you should see a doctor if there is blood in the stool, you’re dehydrated, you have a fever, or your diarrhea hasn’t gotten better in five days.
Additionally, if your diarrhea keeps returning, or your symptoms last for 14 days, it’s a smart move to see your doctor for treatment and testing.
The Causes of Diarrhea
There are numerous reasons someone gets diarrhea. Usually, diarrhea is just your stomach releasing a nasty virus or bacteria. Though, there are some instances in which diarrhea is due to a stomach ailment like inflammatory bowel disease.
Numerous viruses cause diarrhea. Ways to get diarrhea are food poisoning, taking antibiotics, or a bacterial infection. However, the best way to find out what’s causing your diarrhea is with an examination by a medical professional.
It's vital to realize that diarrhea is highly contagious through saliva or stool.
To not get infected or to keep from infecting others:
Wash your hands thoroughly
Close the toilet lid before flushing
Clean commonly touched surfaces
Your physician will do an examination and look at your medical history before deciding what is the cause of your diarrhea. Additionally, you may have to take a blood and urine test.
Tests your doctor might request to reveal what is the cause of your diarrhea or any related illnesses may include:
A stool culture to check for parasites and bacteria
A colonoscopy to examine your colon, looking for possible disease
a sigmoidoscopy to assess your lower colon and rectum for indicators of intestinal disease
Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are very useful in deciding if you have an intestinal disease or chronic diarrhea.
Babies, toddlers, and infants should seek a doctor if they have diarrhea or any symptoms that last for over one day. People with weak immune systems or older adults should make an appointment if they have diarrhea.
How to Treat Diarrhea
Typically, mild diarrhea isn't something to fret about. Though, if it lasts days or weeks, you may want to seek medical treatment. Diarrhea may be a prerequisite for something more serious. If you're suffering from any of these symptoms for more than two days, go see a doctor:
Bloody or black stool/stool with blood or mucus
Bad abdominal pain
More than five bowel movements within 24 hours
Go see your doctor if your diarrhea isn’t getting better. Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications, like Pepto Bismol, can help in decreasing the discomfort that’s associated with diarrhea. However, it won’t cure the underlying problem.
Comprehensive Diarrhea Treatment
If you are suffering from diarrhea, you should seek diarrhea treatment at Gastroenterology of the Rockies. Our team will diagnose the reason for the diarrhea and give you the medical care to relieve your symptoms.