Diarrhea is unpleasant enough when it lasts a day or two — but if you have ongoing diarrhea, it can prevent you from living everyday life. At GastroCare LI, esteemed gastroenterologists Bradley Rieders, MD, and Brandon Rieders, MD, offer compassionate and patient-centric care at their Valley Stream, New York, office. To find out what causes your chronic diarrhea, call the office or click on the online appointment scheduler now.

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What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is loose and watery stools. When you have diarrhea, it’s common to experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Powerful sudden urges to pass stool
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Bloody stool
  • Mucus in stool
  • Abdominal bloating

Bouts with diarrhea can be intense and difficult to cope with, so you may feel like you can never be too far from the bathroom when you’re living with this frustrating issue.

When is diarrhea a sign of a serious issue?

Nearly everyone experiences diarrhea at some time in their lives. For example, it’s a common symptom of the flu or stomach bugs. When it’s part of an acute illness, like the flu, the diarrhea is generally intense for a few days and then lessens as you recover.

However, if your diarrhea continues for weeks or even longer, it could be a sign of a serious health problem and might require medical intervention. If you have diarrhea for weeks with no sign of improvement, it’s time to reach out to GastroCare LI for help.

What causes chronic diarrhea?

Chronic diarrhea may be a feature of many gastrointestinal (GI) diseases and conditions, including:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Lactose intolerance

Chronic diarrhea may also occur for other reasons. For example, people who have gallbladder removal surgery may have diarrhea for anywhere from days to years after their procedure.

How is chronic diarrhea treated?

Chronic diarrhea treatment focuses on diagnosing and addressing the underlying condition. So, you’ll usually have stool, breath, or SIBO testing and may also need a diagnostic procedure like colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Based on your condition, you may need medications like antidiarrheal drugs, antibiotics, or biologics. In addition, it’s essential that you drink plenty of water when you have diarrhea. That replenishes the fluids you’ve lost due to frequent diarrhea and helps to prevent dangerous dehydration.

You don’t need to live with frequent diarrhea any longer. The GastroCare LI physicians understand the frustration and embarrassment you’re experiencing with frequent diarrhea, and they’re ready to provide treatments that work. Call the office or click on the online booking tool to make your appointment today.