Diarrhea affects everyone on some occasion, and it is usually only present for a few days before the symptoms go away. However, if the condition lasts longer than a few weeks, it can indicate a serious medical condition, and the patient should seek medical attention.
Unusually loose and watery stools are classified as diarrhea. Other symptoms may also be present, and can include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Bloody stool
- Pain in the abdomen
- Intense urge to defecate
There are many causes of diarrhea, and not all of them require medical intervention. Sometimes foods can upset the digestive tract, and encourage a watery release. Other times, diarrhea is the body’s response to a bacterial or viral infection. Medications may also cause runny stools, but consistent and prolonged diarrhea is unusual.
Complications from diarrhea can quickly arise and develop into more serious conditions that require medical attention. Dehydration can result from the body’s continual use of water in the bowel movement, and children are especially vulnerable to losing a dangerous amount of water.
In most cases, diarrhea goes away on its own. If the problem persists, antibiotics may be used to fight off an infection and reduce symptoms. It is important to drink lots of water to replenish the body and help the digestive tract return to normal, solid bowel movements. If you frequently experience diarrhea, it may be symptomatic of an underlying condition. Contact GastroCare LI at (516) 219-8876 to speak with a Glendale or Valley Stream gastroenterologist near you today.