Expert Diagnosis and Treatment of Diarrhea for Patients in New Jersey
Along with abdominal pain, diarrhea is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. While diarrhea can be frustrating and embarrassing, it can also sometimes signal a more serious underlying problem.
Accompanying Symptoms of Diarrhea
Diarrhea often accompanies nausea and vomiting in the case of a viral GI illness or “stomach bug.” Yet, if you have diarrhea that is bloody or will not resolve, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers of prolonged diarrhea. When diarrhea continues over several days, you lose a large amount of fluid. If that fluid isn’t being replaced in the form of electrolytes and water, severe dehydration may ensue. It is extremely important to stay hydrated when you’re suffering from diarrhea. If you cannot keep fluids down, report to a healthcare provider.
Possible Causes of Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be caused by many factors, including pathogenic microorganisms, antibiotics, and a variety of medical conditions. Among these is C. difficile, a bacterium that invades the colon. C. difficile colitis often occurs after a course of antibiotics. Confirmation of a C. difficile infection is usually made by testing stool samples, and the problem can be treated with specific antibiotics.
Diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying condition. Diarrhea doctors may make a diagnosis of the cause using a physical examination, asking questions about your medical history, using x-rays and other imaging, or by performing a colonoscopy – a procedure where a tube attached to a camera is inserted into the rectum in order to view the colon.
Treatment of Diarrhea
Mild cases of diarrhea can usually be treated with over the counter medications. More severe or extended episodes may require prescription drugs or, in the case of C. difficile, antibiotics. If you have chronic diarrhea, your New Jersey gastroenterologist professionals will attempt to find and treat the cause.