Diarrhea affects most people once in a while, but if your diarrhea won’t go away or always seems to return, you may have a chronic condition like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. At his practice in Boca Raton, Florida, board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Prosper Abitbol evaluates and treats chronic diarrhea. If you have diarrhea that’s lasted for more than four weeks, call or click to schedule an appointment today.

Diarrhea Q & A

Diarrhea is a condition that causes loose and watery stools. You may associate diarrhea with a frequent, urgent need to go to the bathroom, which is a common symptom, but that’s not necessary for the condition. What distinguishes diarrhea is the quality of the stool itself.

If you have diarrhea, your intestines aren’t properly absorbing nutrients and fluids from food and liquids as they pass through.

Acute diarrhea is short-term, usually lasting no more than three days, and is rarely the sign of another condition. Viruses often cause acute diarrhea, and you can treat it with over-the-counter medication.

Chronic diarrhea lasts for four weeks or longer and is most often the symptom of a chronic condition affecting your digestive system. It’s important to visit Dr. Abitbol if you’ve had diarrhea for that long, both to diagnose the underlying condition and to avoid complications such as dehydration, weight loss, and malnutrition.

If you have chronic diarrhea, Dr. Abitbol performs an examination and asks questions about your symptoms, including how frequently you have loose, watery stools and any other symptoms you may have. He may also order a blood test or a stool sample, which can help determine the presence of an infection or inflammation.

Conditions that cause chronic diarrhea include:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance

Diarrhea may also result in part from your medications, such as antibiotics and antidepressants, or diet, including excess intake of caffeine and various artificial sweeteners.

Dr. Abitbol develops a treatment plan for your chronic diarrhea based on what’s causing it. If your exam reveals an inflammatory condition, he begins treatment to manage the symptoms of the condition. This treatment may involve removing certain foods from your diet that trigger diarrhea.

Anti-diarrhea medication can be effective for short-term relief of symptoms but isn’t advisable as a long-term plan. If your diarrhea is the side effect of a medication you’re taking, Dr. Abitbol can recommend an alternative that doesn’t cause diarrhea.

If you have chronic diarrhea, Dr. Prosper Abitbol can determine the cause and help you find relief. To book an appointment, call or click today.


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