Diarrhea in St. Louis, MO
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What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools that occur with greater frequency than normal bowel movements. Experiencing loose stools three or more times a day is considered diarrhea. In general, diarrhea only lasts for a short period of time, but ongoing or persistent diarrhea can be a sign of a significantly more serious issue. Diarrhea can often be treated at home. The most important thing to do is to drink plenty of fluids to replenish all of the fluids being lost during watery bowel movements. You can also include rice, applesauce, toast, and bananas in your diet. If you suspect that you have a virus or bacteria, antivirals or antibiotics might be prescribed. You can also use OTC medications with your doctor's supervision. However, there are some diseases, conditions, and cancers that manifest, in part, through diarrhea. Some such conditions include but are not limited to Crohn's disease, colon cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). That is why it is essential to avoid self-diagnosing and to consult a specialist if severe diarrhea develops. Please understand that you are not alone and you can find treatment for diarrhea in St. Louis, MO. Connect with a local gastroenterologist through your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology location.
What causes diarrhea?
Diarrhea is an extremely common GI condition. Nearly all of us have suffered from loose or watery bowel movements as a result of eating some bad food, during stressful periods in our lives, or after taking a new medication. But diarrhea can, in some situations, tell you that something more is happening in your body. Here are some of the possible conditions or habits with the potential to cause diarrhea:
- Surgery (sometimes abdominal and gallbladder removal surgeries can cause diarrhea)
- Some cancers
- An overactive thyroid
- Lactose intolerance
- Malabsorption (trouble absorbing certain nutrients)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Runner’s diarrhea
- Therapy involving radiation
- Fructose (difficulty digesting it)
- Parasites or bacteria from contaminated food or water
- Viral infection
- Alcohol abuse
- Abuse of laxatives
When should I visit a gastroenterologist for diarrhea?
If your diarrhea becomes severe, reach out to a GI specialist at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community without delay. Some indicators of severe diarrhea can include:
- Diarrhea in conjunction with fever
- Diarrhea that persists greater than 48 hours
- Diarrhea and dark urine
- Intense stomach pain
- Vomiting in conjunction with diarrhea
- Diarrhea post-travel in a foreign country
Should any of these symptoms present, it is essential that you receive professional care. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health. Our specialists routinely provide treatment for diarrhea in St. Louis, MO.
Be proactive with your GI health
While the majority of people will experience occasional diarrhea at some point during their life, it can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. If you or a family member have been suffering from persistent diarrhea in conjunction with other bothersome gastrointestinal symptoms, it may time for a visit with a gastroenterologist to evaluate your symptoms. You can locate a GI provider at your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology location. If you are suffering from worrisome gastrointestinal symptoms or need care for diarrhea in St. Louis, MO, reach out to one of our locations right away.
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