Chronic diarrhea describes loose stools lasting for a minimum period of four weeks. There are numerous likely causes of chronic diarrhea, and chronic diarrhea treatment aims to correct the causes of diarrhea and some symptoms patients may be suffering from.
If you experience diarrhea, and most individuals do, your stool becomes very loose and watery. You generally feel nauseous or suffer from cramps in your stomach. It’s extremely common and is usually not severe. Chronic diarrhea normally lasts for two to three days. Over-the-counter drugs may be effective in chronic diarrhea treatment, so patients rarely require prescription strength medicines.
Chronic diarrhea can have a massive effect on your wellbeing and your general health. At best, diarrhea is an embarrassment while at worst, it may be disabling or even life-threatening. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available.
- A desperate need to use the bathroom, leading to loose or watery stools
- Nausea, vomiting, bloating, and stomach cramps
If chronic diarrhea is more severe, the symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Blood, mucus, or undigested food in the feces
- Should you encounter watery stools over three times in a day when taking in enough fluids, you may get dehydrated
There are lots of potential causes of chronic diarrhea. Some of the most frequent causes are inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS malabsorption syndromes where your body can’t digest and absorb food) and other protracted ailments. Some common causes of chronic diarrhea are:
- Diseases — Intestinal infections may also result in chronic diarrhea. Diseases which cause chronic diarrhea are observable in who visit or reside in tropical or developing nations. They can also develop chronic diarrhea as a result of eating contaminated food or drinking unclean water.
- Endocrine Disorders — Endocrine disorders can cause chronic diarrhea and weight loss. If the nerves that serve the digestive tract get hurt, this creates difficulties in effectively eliminating waste from the body. This can sometimes mean constipation but can also result in chronic diarrhea.
- Food Allergy or Sensitivity — Food allergies and hypersensitivity can also lead to chronic diarrhea. Individuals affected by the celiac disease are gluten sensitive. Gluten, which is a significant constituent of wheat germ, can lead to diarrhea and reduction of weight. Lactose intolerance can also lead to diarrhea.
- Medication –Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal supplements may lead to diarrhea. So as to ascertain whether a medication is the cause of your diarrhea, you should review your list of supplements and prescriptions with your specialist.
When Should I Call My Doctor?
You should call your physician immediately if you have black or tarry stools, blood in your stool, a fever over 101 F, diarrhea that lasts for over two days, nausea, severe vomiting, pains in your stomach or rectum, or diarrhea after returning from overseas travel.
The major aim of chronic diarrhea treatment is to remove the underlying cause – if the cause is understood. It intends to create the bowel movements firmer and to take care of any diarrhea-related complications. At times, you can take an over-the-counter medication such as Bismuth Subsalicylate that is available in capsule or pill form. You have to follow the directions on the package correctly.
- Treating the Cause – it’s integral to establish and see to the potential cause of chronic diarrhea if at all possible. In instances where it’s an infection, antibiotics might be the solution. If it’s celiac disease or ulcerative colitis, you may need to seek out long-term treatment and follow up.
- Treating Diarrhea – Eliminating symptoms of diarrhea is your most important goal when treating patients. However, this method usually comes prior to testing, once the outcome of the tests aren’t helpful, or as soon as the major cause of the diarrhea is a chronic medical issue.
- Trial Treatments – Your specialist may suggest that you try a treatment before they carry out any more tests. This method can help you narrow down the probable causes of your diarrhea.
- Complications – Dehydration and malnutrition are a few of the serious complications that could occur with chronic diarrhea. So you should drink a lot of fluids during the test procedure. If you’re drinking enough fluids you may still be dehydrated, you might need to be given fluids intravenously to replace minerals and electrolytes. Despite the fact that this won’t heal your diarrhea, it is going to prevent more serious complications.