An occasional bout of diarrhea is common, but chronic diarrhea should be of concern. The doctors at Houston Regional Gastroenterology, with locations in Sugar Land and Humble, Texas, can evaluate your digestive system and determine the reason you’re experiencing loose stools. Call one of the locations or book an appointment online if you’re experiencing chronic diarrhea.
Loose, watery stools, or diarrhea, can occur acutely – for just a few days – and go away on its own. A temporary infection from a virus or a foodborne illness is likely the cause of this diarrhea.
If diarrhea lasts a long time, it may signal a problem that needs medical intervention. Causes could include:
Anyone of any age can get diarrhea.
Along with diarrhea, you may experience cramps or abdominal pain. You may have the urgency to visit the bathroom and even a loss of bowel control. If fever or chills accompany diarrhea, a virus or bacteria is probably the cause.
Acute cases of diarrhea can cause dehydration and can be serious for people with compromised immune systems, such as children and the elderly. If you’re not replenishing fluids, you may need to see your general care practitioner to get rehydrated.
A gastroenterologist investigates the cause of your diarrhea beyond the basic stomach flu. Symptoms that suggest you need specialist care include:
If you notice diarrhea occurs after regularly eating certain foods, you may want to make sure you discuss this with Houston Regional Gastroenterology at your appointment.
Houston Regional Gastroenterology does a comprehensive physical exam and checks your medical and medication history when determining the cause of your diarrhea. Your doctor may run a stool check to look for bacteria or parasites. They may order screening tests, such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy, to examine your intestines and look for signs of disease. Treatment occurs once your doctor determines the cause of diarrhea.
If you’re suffering from chronic diarrhea, call the nearest location of Houston Regional Gastroenterology or book an appointment online to set up an appointment for evaluation and treatment.