If you have sudden diarrhea (loose, watery stool), consider whether you recently ate something unusual that could have caused food poisoning, have a stomach bug, or are stressed out and overworked from anxieties at home, school, work, or traveling situations. Acute diarrhea may also result from an oversized fatty meal, medications, or alcohol consumption. If diarrhea is more intermittent, you may be intolerant to certain foods, struggle with healthy eating habits, or have a gastrointestinal disorder called irritable bowel syndrome, which also causes bloating, flatulence, and irregular bowel movements. Patients with diarrhea in Suffolk County, NY, or Patchogue, NY, should see Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates to rule out potentially dangerous underlying medical conditions or diseases.
Prolonged Diarrhea: FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about diarrhea. Call our office if you have concerns about your symptoms.
- Is Diarrhea Dangerous? It can be when a person passes watery stool more than three times over 24 hours. Diarrhea can be dangerous if the underlying cause is a virus or infectious disease that can spread from person to person.
- Why Does Diarrhea Occur? It might result from poor nutritional status, immunity, or nutritional deficiencies. It can also happen if you contract viral infections, parasites, or food and medication allergies.
- How Can I Prevent Diarrhea? Keep hands clean by washing them thoroughly for 20 seconds, ensure that the food and beverages you eat are prepared correctly, and always check expiration dates when grocery shopping. If you're sensitive to certain foods, avoid them, as they might be a trigger.
At-home treatment for mild cases of diarrhea includes hydration, probiotics to regulate gut bacteria, over-the-counter medications, or eating and avoiding specific foods. However, if you have prolonged symptoms that last more than 48 hours, such as a fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, bloody or black stools, or severe abdominal or rectal pain, contact one of our professionals immediately. You should also visit our office if you notice sunken eyes or dry lips, as these are signs of dehydration, and if you have concerns about significant weight loss. If you have additional questions about prolonged diarrhea in Suffolk County, NY, or Patchogue, NY, or want to schedule an appointment at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates, call (631) 289-0300.