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Our Services / Diarrhea

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About Diarrhea

Most people experience bouts of diarrhea a few times a year. Diarrhea typically resolves on its own within a few days. However, if you have chronic or recurring diarrhea, it’s time to schedule an appointment with the highly skilled board-certified physicians at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA. The state-of-the-art private medical practice has 13 locations throughout Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, and Pineville, North Carolina. Call or schedule your diarrhea consultation online today. Telehealth appointments are available.

Diarrhea Q & A

What is diarrhea?

You have diarrhea when you have three or more loose, watery stools in one day. With diarrhea, you may feel a sudden urgency to have a bowel movement. You may also feel bloated or have abdominal cramping.

Diarrhea is common and usually goes away within a few days with over-the-counter (OTC) medication and proper hydration. 

What causes diarrhea?

You can develop diarrhea from a wide range of causes. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection
  • Food intolerance
  • Food allergy
  • Reaction to medication
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease

Anyone can develop diarrhea at any time. Though not always a serious health concern, children, older adults, and people with other medical conditions may develop other health problems because of diarrhea, such as dehydration, rapid heartbeat, or dizziness. 

When should I seek help for my diarrhea?

You should seek help for your diarrhea if you have signs of dehydration — dry mouth, headache, dark urine, diarrhea that lasts more than two days, or severe abdominal pain or a fever. 

Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, also recommends seeking help for diarrhea if it’s a chronic or recurring problem and causes other symptoms like abdominal pain or bloody stools. 

When you visit the practice for diarrhea, your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms and medical history, performs a physical exam, and runs lab work such as blood tests, stool tests, and urinalysis.

The gastroenterologists may perform endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopy or upper endoscopy if needed. 

They classify your diarrhea as:

Acute diarrhea

Acute diarrhea is the most common type and causes loose, watery stools for about two days. 

Persistent diarrhea

Persistent diarrhea means you have loose, watery stools for 2-4 weeks.

Chronic diarrhea

If you have diarrhea that lasts four or more weeks or comes and goes regularly, then you have chronic diarrhea.

What treatments can help my diarrhea?

Treatment for diarrhea depends on the cause. First, your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, may recommend eating soft, bland foods, avoiding caffeine, and drinking plenty of fluids.

They also provide care for the underlying cause of your diarrhea, which may include disease-specific medication or diet modification. 

To get help for your diarrhea, call Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, or schedule an appointment online today.