How Is Diarrhoea Diagnosed
Diarrhoea can be diagnosed based on your symptoms and a medical history, taken by your doctor. If the diarrhoea goes away after a few days you may not find the cause.
Sometimes, tests will be needed to diagnose an underlying condition. These include:
If you have ongoing diarrhoea, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist or other specialist to work out the underlying cause.
How Long Having Diarrhea Is Too Long
Acute diarrhea can last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. This form of diarrhea is usually mild and gets better with home remedies. Chronic diarrhea, on the other hand, may last for 4 weeks or more. It typically indicates an underlying health condition, such as ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.
Causes Of Chronic Diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea is sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition. See your doctor if diarrhea doesnt respond to at-home care. If youre concerned about your diarrhea and dont already have a primary care provider, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
During your appointment, your doctor may conduct a physical examination and ask about your symptoms. For example, how often do you have loose stools? Do you have any other symptoms? Is there a personal or family history of digestive problems? Based on your physical exam and your symptoms, your doctor may order a complete blood count or a stool sample to check for infections or inflammation.
Inflammatory conditions that can cause loose, watery stools include ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease. These conditions can also cause bloody stools and abdominal pain.
A stool sample, which examines feces, may reveal elevated white blood cells. This can be a sign of inflammation in your body or bacteria or parasites in your stool. The latter can also cause loose stools. This sample may also reveal fat in your stool, which can indicate chronic pancreatitis or celiac disease.
Your diet can also play a role in chronic diarrhea. Certain ingredients speed up the rate of digestion, causing food to pass rapidly through the colon. Common culprits include milk and artificial sweeteners .
Other causes of chronic diarrhea may include:
- medications NSAIDs, antibiotics, antacids
- gluten insensitivity
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Can Diarrhoea Be Prevented
Gastroenteritis the most common cause of diarrhoea is highly infectious, and mostly spread by contact with another person who has the illness, or from contaminated food.
These measures can help to stop the spread:
- wash hands frequently using a good handwashing technique
- follow proper food-safety practices
- if a household member has diarrhoea, they should not prepare food for the other members, and everyone should follow regular handwashing and hygiene practices
- someone who has diarrhoea should not visit hospitals, aged care facilities, or swimming pools
- babies can be vaccinated against rotavirus
Dream Of Liquid Stool
The dream meaning of liquid diarrhea is a problem, but with excessive carelessness on your part. In other words, you are experiencing conflict, and you do not understand the impact of this problem. As a result of past mistakes, you try to solve them, but you dont get results. Diarrhea, with lots of fluids, predicts disease and pressure.
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What Is Bloody Diarrhea
Spotting blood in the toilet or on the toilet paper can be upsetting. And blood is always cause for concern. That said, a trace of blood in your stool can be caused by a relatively minor condition, such as mild constipation or hemorrhoids.
But if youre noticing more than a trace, or if the blood is accompanied by other stomach issues, you may need to see a doctor. Possible culprits include a bacterial or parasite infection, inflammatory bowel diseases , and colorectal cancer.
Q: What Are The Most Common Causes Of Yellow Diarrhea
A: Our favorite scheme for yellow diarrhea is the time frame in which diarrhea happened:
1- Acute yellow diarrhea: .
- Indigestion of a large fatty meal.
- A gut infection with a protozoan called Giardia.
- Other types of gastroenteritis or food poisoning.
- Stress/Anxiety situations.
- Acute Hepatitis A .
- Recent binge drinking of ialcohol.
2- Recurrent Acute yellow diarrhea:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food sensitivities/intolerance.
- Gall bladder diseases or removal.
- Celiac disease.
- Other types of severe food intolerance.
- Bile Acid Diarrhea .
- Chronic liver diseases/ liver Failure.
- Chronic pancreatitis/Exocrine Pancreatic insufficiency.
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Home Remedies And Natural Remedies
Chronic diarrhea may develop after taking a prescription medication such as an antibiotic. Talk to your doctor about alternative drugs. If one isnt available, incorporate probiotics into your diet to restore stool bulk. These are available in yogurt and capsule form.
Fiber supplements are associated with relieving constipation. But certain fiber supplements can also relieve chronic diarrhea because of its water-holding effect. Taking psyllium on a daily basis can produce bulkier stools and lessen or eliminate diarrhea caused by IBS or medication.
Chronic diarrhea caused by an underlying medical condition isnt always preventable. But you can prevent chronic diarrhea due to infection by taking steps to keep your food and water supply clean. For example:
- Drink from a clean water source or filter your water.
- Thoroughly clean meat before cooking.
- Cook meat thoroughly.
- Wash your hands after handling food.
- Clean kitchen surfaces to prevent contamination.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or attending to a sick person.
When To Call A Doctor
Most cases of acute diarrhea are self-resolving, and symptoms will improve within a few days.
However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, if symptoms persist for longer than 2 days , you should seek medical attention, as you may be getting dehydrated and need IV fluids or other treatment and evaluation.
Diarrhea is also a symptom of some serious medical emergencies. If you experience loose, watery stools alongside any of the following symptoms, you should seek emergency help. A combination of these symptoms may be a sign of a severe underlying illness.
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Tips To Prevent Dehydration
- Replace electrolytes
If you have nausea or vomiting, taking tiny, frequent sips rather than big gulps can help the fluids stay down.
Water should be your primary drink, but you should also address a potential electrolyte imbalance caused by watery diarrhea.
Electrolytes are charged particles, like sodium and potassium, that are key to your body’s health. They are found in a wide variety of sources, but if youre not feeling well, the easiest place to get them is through drinking beverages with a small amount of salt.
Sports drinks and special hydration fluids like Pedialyte work well, or you can make your own. Just add a pinch of salt and a small amount of sugar to lemon water.
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages should be avoided. These can block your body from absorbing fluids, making you urinate more often than you normally would and speeding up fluid loss.
Be sure to avoid dehydration as your watery diarrhea symptoms get better on their own. If you do see a healthcare provider, they will ask questions about your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and run tests that can help guide treatment.
Give Medicines For Diarrhea
Anti-diarrhea medicine is a fast way to stop the problem
Follow the instructions on the bottle. Too much can cause stomach cramps, constipation, or sleepiness. These medicines should not be used on a daily basis without discussing with the healthcare provider. If the older person has just completed a course of antibiotics, do not use anti-diarrhea medicines without consulting the healthcare provider.
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How Is Diarrhea Diagnosed
To see if you have diarrhea, your healthcare provider will give you a physical exam and ask about your past health. You may also have lab tests to check your blood and urine.
Other tests may include:
- Stool studies including culture and other tests. This test checks for any abnormal bacteria in your digestive tract that may cause diarrhea and other problems. To do this, a small stool sample is taken and sent to a lab.
- Sigmoidoscopy. This test lets your healthcare provider check the inside of part of your large intestine. It helps to tell what is causing diarrhea. A short, flexible, lighted tube is put into your intestine through the rectum. This tube blows air into your intestine to make it swell. This makes it easier to see inside. A biopsy can be taken if needed.
- Colonoscopy. This test looks at the full length of your large intestine. It can help check for any abnormal growths, tissue that is red or swollen, sores , or bleeding. A long, flexible, lighted tube is put into your rectum up into the colon. This tube lets your healthcare provider see the lining of your colon and take out a tissue sample to test it. He or she can also treat some problems that may be found.
- Imaging tests. These tests can see if there are any problems with the way your organs are formed .
Risk Factors For Colorectal Cancer Include:
- Age (especially those who are older than 45 years.
- Family history of colorectal cancer.
- Diet high in fats and processed meats. A low-fiber diet is also a major risk factor.
- Smoking and alcoholoabuse.
- Whipples disease.
This form of diarrhea is usually severe watery and constant diarrhea for years. It may lead to complications such as malabsorption and weight loss.
Chronic infectious diarrhea is more common in people with weak immune systems. Examples are patients receiving chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications, and people with HIV.
Your doctor usually needs to do a stool culture or take an aspirate from the small intestine or the colon to detect the causative organism.
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How To Suspect Bleeding Varices:
- Vomiting of blood .
- Black stool, black diarrhea, or tarry stool.
- signs of the cause such as jaundice, distension of the abdomen , and swelling of the lower limbs .
- lost consciousness in severe cases.
The condition is not confined to liver cirrhosis, other causes that can cause variceal bleeding include:
- blood clot in the main vein of the liver .
- parasitic infection with schistosomiasis, which can cause similar conditions via damaging the liver.
- Rare vascular diseases of the liver such as Bud-Chiari syndrome.
How to deal if you suspect bleeding esophageal varices:
As with any bleeding inside your digestive tract, you have to seek emergency medical help. time is critical, especially if you experience both vomitings of blood and black stool.
How Common Is Bile Acid Diarrhea
Bile acid diarrhea is more common than you think. And it is often misdiagnosed as IBS-D
The following facts and statistics will help you imagine the amplitude of BAD:
- About 25 to 50% of patients diagnosed with IBS-diarrhea actually have BAD %20is,the%20population%20may%20have%20BAD.” rel=”nofollow”> reference).
- It is estimated that about 1% of the population may have BAD.
- It is estimated that about 64% of patients with Functional diarrhea have BAD 30209-1/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> reference).
- Up to 35% of people with a condition called microscopic colitis have BAD 30209-1/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> reference).
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What Causes Acute Pd
Some conditions or issues may cause a brief bout of PD. Time may put a stop to the PD symptoms, or medicine may be required. These causes include:
Viral infection: Viral infections, like stomach bugs, can cause temporary PD and make your digestive tract extra sensitive. The PD may last for a few days, even after other symptoms have eased.
Lactose intolerance: People who cant fully digest lactose, a type of sugar found in dairy products, may experience PD if they eat foods containing lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
Food poisoning: The human body does a good job of knowing it has eaten something it shouldnt. When it detects the bad food, your body will probably try to expel it immediately. That may cause diarrhea or vomiting anywhere from within one hour to a few weeks after eating the contaminated food.
Sugar malabsorption: This condition is very similar to lactose intolerance. Some peoples bodies cant properly absorb sugars like lactose and fructose. When these sugars enter the intestine, they can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Toddlers diarrhea: Toddlers and young children who drink a lot of fruit juice may develop PD. The high amounts of sugar in these drinks can draw water into the bowels, which can cause watery stools and diarrhea.
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Why Green Diarrhea Happens
In a broad sense, green stools are caused by two things:
- Something you consumed that added color to your stool
- Something abnormal in the digestive process, usually involving bile, a green substance that helps digest fat in your small intestine
Foods, drinks, medications, and medical conditions are all possible culprits.
|Foods That Cause Green Poop||Medications That Cause Green Poop||Conditions That Cause Green Poop|
|Green, leafy veggies||Antibiotics|
If you consume a food or drink that turns your poop green, it is because whatever you consumed either had a green or similar hue, or it had a laxative effect on the body. Sped-up digestion is also at play in cases where a medication or medical condition is the root cause.
As stool continues through the digestive tract, the bile becomes dark brown. If the stool is still green by the time it comes out, it could mean that it went through the large intestine too fast to be turned brown. This is known as “rapid transit” or “decreased colonic transit time.”
This is especially true with green diarrhea rather than a fully-formed stool.
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What Do I Do If My Baby Or Young Child Has Diarrhea
If your child has severe diarrhea, call your healthcare provider. Young children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults. You also cant treat a childs diarrhea the same way you would an adult case. Over-the-counter medications can be dangerous in young children and all treatments of diarrhea in children should be guided by their healthcare provider. Its important to keep your child hydrated. Your provider will help you determine the best way to do this, but options often include:
- Electrolyte drinks for older children this is not recommended for babies.
The best option to keep your child hydrated might change as the child ages. Always check with your provider before giving your child a new liquid or treatment of any kind.
If you have any questions or concerns about your childs diarrhea, dont hesitate to call your provider.
Quick Insights: What You Need To Know
- Food, blood, and black medications are the 3 main causes of black stool.
- Bleeding from your stomach or duodenum can cause black watery stool.
- bleeding from ulcers, esophageal varices, and other lesions inside your gut is an emergency medical condition.
Common causes of black watery diarrhea include:
- Peptic ulcer bleeding.
- Taking Pepto Bismol for diarrhea.
- Bleeding esophageal or gastric varices.
- Bleeding from tumors or malignant ulcers inside your gut.
- Angiodysplasia: bleeding from malformed blood vessels.
- Black foods such as blueberries, and black licorice.
- Black medications such as iron supplements, Pepto Bismol, and activated charcoal.
- Swallowing of blood from nose or tooth bleed.
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Foods With A Laxative Effect
Some foods with a laxative effect speed up digestion. They can contribute to both green stools, especially if you eat a lot.
These foods not spending a long enough time in the large intestine also means that less water is absorbed, resulting in loose stool.
Foods with a laxative effect that can cause green diarrhea include:
Green diarrhea or stools from laxative foods is often dark green.
What Can I Do To Feel Better
You’ll feel better if you stay well hydrated, so drink lots of water. Electrolytes are also lost and need to be replaced because the body cannot function properly without them. Try sipping broth or soup, which contain sodium, and diluted fruit juice , which contains potassium.
When you feel ready to eat something more substantial, try soft fruits or vegetables, which also contain potassium. Avoid milk products and fatty, high-fiber, or very sweet foods until the diarrhea eases. And don’t drink sports drinks or soft drinks â they contain electrolytes, but their high sugar content can make diarrhea worse.
As uncomfortable as diarrhea may be, it is usually short-lived. Drink enough fluids and follow your doctor’s instructions, and you feel better in no time.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have long-term diarrhea, don’t put off seeing your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may order blood tests or a stool sample to check for blood in the stool or an infection due to bacteria, a virus, or a parasite.
You may need a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, which may identify IBD or early signs of colon cancer. Even if it turns out that you have colon cancer, it is usually curable, particularly if detected early.
Signs that you should see your healthcare provider include:
- Your diarrhea has lasted for more than two weeks .
- You have persistent abdominal cramps or severe pain.
- You’re vomiting a lot.
- Your diarrhea wakes you from your sleep.
- You experience alternating constipation and diarrhea.
- You notice you’re losing weight even though you haven’t been trying to.
How Can Imodium Help
While many people believe that mild or acute diarrhea should be left untreated, doing so can lead to unwanted repercussions. You can use an antidiarrheal medication that contains Loperamide, like IMODIUM® products, to treat mild or acute diarrhea lasting no longer than two days8. IMODIUM® helps restore the guts natural rhythm, enabling it to start absorbing fluids, salts, and nutrients as it normally would. If symptoms persist for more than two days or gets worse, stop use and consult your healthcare professional.
Of course, its best to try to avoid diarrhea if possible. Thats why weve provided tips on managing your diarrhea and preventing it from happening again or in the first place.
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