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Working with Your Gastroenterologist on Treating Chronic Diarrhea

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Many people deal with diarrhea from time to time. It could be brought on by stress or poor food choices. However, what if a case of diarrhea never goes away and continues for weeks at a time? If this happens, it means you are dealing with chronic diarrhea. 

In many situations, chronic diarrhea is a symptom of a more serious digestive problem. If you are experiencing issues with this condition, learning more about the condition and scheduling an appointment with a gastroenterologist is highly recommended. 

Causes of Chronic Diarrhea

Several diseases, disorders, other GI conditions, and daily habits may cause chronic diarrhea. Due to the vast causes, it’s smart to go to a gastroenterologist specializing in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the digestive tract. 

When you go to your appointment, they will gather information about your situation to determine what tests should be run. After the physical exam, your doctor may require a stool sample and blood test to look for signs of infections and inflammation. Stress or anxiety may be another factor of this condition. The stool sample will let the doctor know if the condition is caused by:

  • Parasitic, fungal, or bacterial infections
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Maldigestion
  • Pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

Other conditions may cause chronic diarrhea, too, which include:

  • Preexisting or chronic conditions 
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Celiac disease or gluten intolerance
  • Some medications
  • Tumors
  • Past digestive tract surgeries
  • Hereditary disorders
  • Immune dysfunction

Suppose the stool sample and blood test don’t provide answers about the condition. In that case, your doctor may require a colonoscopy or imaging tests to check for bleeding or inflammation somewhere else in your digestive tract. 

After the diagnostic tests, if nothing is revealed, this condition may result from irritable bowel syndrome. Currently, there’s no cure for IBS, but making lifestyle changes can help control the symptoms. 

Treating and Preventing Chronic Diarrhea

The underlying cause of chronic diarrhea determines the course of treatment. With any case, replacing lost fluids is a top priority. It’s important to consume salts and fluids to replace what you are losing. 

Sometimes, if an infection causes diarrhea, it can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe you the medication needed for your situation. It takes some time to determine the cause and the proper treatment for most people. You should work with your gastroenterologist to prevent the condition from occurring again. 

If you are dealing with this condition, contact our Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health team to schedule an appointment and begin treatment.

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