You have just eaten your breakfast, lunch, or dinner and minutes later, you start having symptoms of diarrhea. At first, the condition may last for one or two days. But when it goes beyond that, you will need to see a doctor find out what is causing it and prescribe medications. If you live in or near Cypress, diarrhea specialists and gastroenterologists at GastroDoxs PLLC can perform diagnostic and treatment procedures to get your life back on track.
How can diarrhea affect your body?
As long as you eat food and drink water or other beverages, passing stool will be a regular part of your life. However, at times this process of having a bowel movement can change in the fraction of a second. When you have loose or watery stool, that is diarrhea. The process can either be painful or painless, depending on the amount of toxins your body needs to expel.
There are many causes of diarrhea, and the condition may subside on its own in a few days. The situation forces you to go to the bathroom more frequently than normal. At times, you may also experience symptoms of bloating, lower abdominal cramping, and have episodes of nausea.
While diarrhea causes can be stopped using home remedies or over-the-counter medications, sometimes it can lead to serious complications such as dehydration, electrolyte impairment, and kidney failure. Diarrhea can also be a symptom of other chronic infections that have not been treated. In such a case, seeing a doctor is the only bet you have at saving yourself from the effects of severe dehydration.
The types of diarrhea
Diarrhea can be classified in the following ways:
When you have acute diarrhea, your body may expel loose, watery poop that lasts for a few days. This type of diarrhea may not require treatment since it is short-lived
Passing loose or watery stool that persists for two to four weeks can be classified as persistent diarrhea. This type requires urgent treatment to reduce dehydration.
Diarrhea that does not seem to go away for more than one month is called chronic diarrhea. This type is an indication of other chronic diseases that need urgent treatment.
When to see a gastroenterologist
If you have diarrhea that does not go away or worsens, it would be advisable to see a gastroenterologist for urgent treatment. You can also get treatment if diarrhea is accompanied by headaches, dry skin, drowsiness, dark urine, loss of urine production, rapid heart rate, or nausea.
Gastroenterologists have the medical capacity to perform comprehensive exams on a patient to determine the root cause of their diarrhea. That way, they can customize a treatment plan to address your unique needs. They often recommend additional screening for a stool sample or a procedure like flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to reveal the severity of your case. In doing so, dehydration will be treated by boosting your intake of water, electrolytes, and salts. For severe dehydration cases, your doctor may apply intravenous hydration procedures. Consult your doctor today to learn more about diarrhea and its health implications.