Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado
Masi Khaja, MD
Gastroenterologist located in Grand Junction, CO
Everyone gets a bout of diarrhea now and again, but if yours won’t clear up or you have other symptoms as well, it’s advisable to get yourself checked out in case you have an underlying condition that’s causing diarrhea. The expert team at Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, Colorado, is highly skilled in getting to the root cause of intestinal illnesses, so if you’re concerned about diarrhea, call the clinic today.
Diarrhea Q & A
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea means having stools that are loose and watery, a common but usually not serious problem that most people experience a few times a year. In addition to loose stools you may have:
- Sudden urge to have a bowel movement
- Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea may be caused by an infection, eating something that’s gone off, or making changes to your diet, in which case symptoms usually pass in a few days.
Should I be worried if I have diarrhea?
If your symptoms don’t ease within a couple of days, or you have a fever, start to lose weight, or see blood and mucus in the stool, you should see the medical team at Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado.
Some conditions that cause diarrhea need medical attention, such as:
- Alcohol abuse
- Food allergies
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Some forms of cancer
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Celiac disease
- Malabsorption syndrome
You should also make sure you drink plenty of fluids when you have diarrhea, or you may become dehydrated, which can have a serious effect on your health. Try to drink no less than eight glasses of water a day, or drinks such as:
- Fruit juice without any pulp
- Clear soups
- Decaffeinated soda
- Fatless chicken broth
- Tea and honey
- Sports drinks
Maintain a steady intake of fluids through the day rather than just having a drink after eating.
What treatments are available for diarrhea?
Mild cases don’t need treatment as your body naturally gets better over a couple of days. You may wish to take over-the-counter medication to help tighten the stool, but it’s always best to ask for advice from the team at Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado.
Treatment for diarrhea varies according to the cause. Your medical team designs a plan that addresses your underlying health condition, which should clear up diarrhea.
If diarrhea causes you soreness in your anus or rectum, or the area is itchy or painful, clean it gently without rubbing and dry carefully, then apply white petroleum jelly or hemorrhoid cream.
If you have diarrhea and are concerned about the cause, or you are unable to take in enough fluids, call Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado today.
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