What is Chronic Diarrhea?
Chronic diarrhea is a significant health issue that causes loose or watery stools. Many people may experience diarrhea at some point. So, chronic diarrhea is often acute and resolves in a couple of days with no complications. However, most people live with chronic diarrhea for more than two to four weeks.
Short-term or acute diarrhea usually is not a severe problem. But, chronic diarrhea and watery stools can lead to problems if left untreated. In the same kind, it is more important to know the causes of this type of diarrhea and treat any underlying condition.
Causes of Chronic Diarrhea
Sometimes, chronic diarrhea is caused by a different underlying medical condition. However, if you are concerned about your diarrhea and do not already have a primary care provider, you can view a health consultant in your area through the Health-line Find care tool. Your health consultant may conduct physical contamination during your check-up period and ask about your symptoms. For instance, how often do you have loose stool? Your health consultant may order a complete blood count or a stool sample to check for infections based on your physical exam and symptoms.
A sample of stool, which examines feces, may reveal elevated white blood cells. This may be a symptom of inflammation in your body or bacteria or parasites in your chair. The latter can also cause loose stool. A stool sample may also indicate fat in your seat, which can indicate chronic pancreatitis or celiac disease. Your daily diet can also play a vital role in chronic diarrhea. However, some possible ingredients speed up the rate of digestion, causing food to pass rapidly through the colon.
The possible causes of chronic diarrhea may include:
- Gluten insensitivity
- Alcohol abuse etc.
However, if a blood or a stool test can not identify the cause of diarrhea, your health consultant may suggest an ultrasound or CT scan of your abdomen, but only if you have other symptoms such as pain or bloody stool. A blood or stool imaging test will check your organs for problems. Your health consultant may also recommend a colonoscopy to examine your bowels for abnormalities.
In some people, the causes of chronic diarrhea are unknown. However, the diagnostic tests may not reveal an abnormality; your health consultant may attribute chronic diarrhea to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Symptoms and signs of Chronic Diarrhea
The main sign of chronic diarrhea is loose or watery stools that persist for weeks. Chronic diarrhea may or may not be accompanied by a sense of urgency. You may have some symptoms as well, such as:
- abdominal cramps
- nausea etc.
Treatment methods for Chronic Diarrhea
For the treatment process, anti-diarrheal medications can relieve diarrhea, but these medications are not recommended as a long-term therapy. Treatment option for chronic diarrhea depends on the underlying cause. For instance, your health consultant will discuss treatment options and suggest the best course of action if you are diagnosed with a medical condition such as Crohn’s, pancreatitis, or celiac disease.
Some additional treatments for chronic diarrhea may include:
- Lifestyle and diet
- Home remedies and natural remedies etc.
Preventing Chronic Diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea is an underlying medical condition that isn’t always preventable. But, you can prevent chronic diarrhea by taking steps to keep your food and water supply clean. For example:
- Your water source must be clean and clear.
- Cook meat thoroughly.
- Wash your hands before and after handling food.
- Kitchen surfaces must be clean and clear to prevent contamination.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or attending to a sick person.