Everyone, at some point in life, will experience diarrhea. This is when an individual has loose, watery stools during their bowel movement. There are several reasons as to why this can occur. It can occur due to intestinal problems, food poisoning, or an illness. In some cases, it can signify a much bigger problem and requires patients to seek medical assistance. In most situations, however, over-the-counter medications can help. When long-term problems occur, patients should talk with Dr. Gandhi to ensure there is no serious underlying condition that needs to be treated.
Some common reasons an individual may experience diarrhea include:
- Abuse of laxatives
- Intestinal diseases including Crohn’s disease
- Food allergies
- Foods that “disagree” with the digestive system
- Fecal incontinence
- Fecal urgency
- Food poisoning
- Alcohol abuse
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Signs of diarrhea not only include loose stools, but may also include cramping and abdominal pain, bloating, urgency, nausea, and vomiting. Patients with blood in their stools may be experiencing a more severe case of diarrhea and should seek medical attention, especially if it persists with fever and weight loss over the course of two days or longer. Patients should seek care earlier if they are unable to replace their fluids promptly, as they may be at risk for dehydration. This is especially important in the elderly and children.
Treatments for diarrhea will vary depending on the cause of the problem and the severity. Over-the-counter medications can help, as well as drinking plenty of fluids and eating a healthy diet. When linked to other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, other long-term methods of treating the issue will be offered.
Dr. Gandhi of Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology assists patients with many pelvic health conditions, including bowel control problems. From irritable bowel syndrome to rectal prolapse, his practice is here to help patients address their medical concerns and rebuild their self-confidence. When problems occur, patients should seek medical care with Dr. Gandhi to restore their health and improve the way they feel.