Diarrhea Treatment Specialist in Oak Park IL
Diarrhea can be life-threatening if not treated properly on time. If you or someone you know is suffering from diarrhea, come to Diamond Gastroenterology for comprehensive treatment. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Oak Park, IL and surrounding areas.
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Diarrhea occurs when you have a loose or watery stool. It is a very common condition that usually resolves on its own.
There are many reasons for diarrhea, and it usually disappears on its own within one to three days. Diarrhea often causes you to go to the restroom more frequently than you should. There may also be bloating, cramping in the lower abdomen, and nausea.
There are sometimes serious complications associated with diarrhea, although most cases are self-limited (last a fixed number of days and are of a fixed severity). In addition to dehydration, diarrhea can cause electrolyte imbalances (loss of sodium, potassium, and magnesium), and kidney failure (by not providing enough blood/fluid to the kidneys). Water and electrolytes are lost along with stool when you have diarrhea. Replace what you lose by drinking plenty of fluids. In the absence of adequate treatment, dehydration can become serious if it fails to resolve (get better), worsens, or is not addressed in a timely manner.
There are several ways to classify diarrhea, primarily differing based on their duration. The most common type of diarrhea is acute diarrhea. The symptoms of acute diarrhea are loose, watery stools that last one to two days. After a few days, this type usually goes away without treatment. It usually takes two to four weeks for persistent diarrhea to subside. When diarrhea lasts for more than four weeks or comes and goes frequently over a long period of time, it is considered chronic diarrhea.
In addition to duration-based classifications, diarrhea can also be experienced differently. There are three basic types: watery, fatty (malabsorption), and inflammatory. The types of watery diarrhea include osmotic, secretory, and functional diarrhea. Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common cause of functional diarrhea, which includes watery diarrhea. Symptoms of malabsorptive diarrhea include excessive gas, steatorrhea, and weight loss. Giardiasis is a classic infectious disease.
Symptoms of inflammatory diarrhea, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, include blood and pus in the stool and elevated fecal calprotectin levels. Inflammation is also caused by invasive bacteria and parasites.
Diarrhea can be experienced as a result of several circumstances or conditions. Depending on if the diarrhea is acute, moderate, or chronic, the likely causes vary. For example, food poisoning is a common cause of acute diarrhea. Generally, diarrhea is frequently caused by parasitic infections, viral infections (such as rotavirus), intestinal disease, adverse reactions to medications, food intolerance, gallbladder or stomach surgery, and more.
Diarrhea usually resolves quickly without treatment. But there are home remedies you can take to manage non-serious cases of acute diarrhea. Drinking plenty of fluids such as water and juices while avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help. Low-fiber and semisolid foods can be added gradually as bowel movements normalize. Avoid fatty foods, high-fiber foods, dairy products, or highly seasoned foods. Over-the-counter medications can also help.
Diarrhea can sometimes indicate the need for urgent care. Individuals experiencing blood in their stool, severe diarrhea, or diarrhea in conjunction with vomiting, should seek urgent care. The presence of severe diarrhea or diarrhea accompanied by other symptoms may indicate a serious infection or condition that requires immediate attention. If diarrhea is accompanied by fever, dehydration, mental changes, weakness, abdominal pain, or an inability to keep liquids down, patients should seek medical attention immediately. For preventative treatment and symptom treatment, it is always best to consult a medical professional. Patients can consult a diarrhea treatment specialist at Diamond Gastroenterology and we are here to help look after your medical needs and offer you the best treatment options available. Call us for more information. We serve patients from Oak Park IL, River Forest IL, Cicero IL, River Grove IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Melrose Park IL and Broadview IL.