Ask the Gastroenterologist: Acute Diarrhea

Dr. Howard Schwartz

Dr. Howard Schwartz

Acute diarrhea is one of the most common reasons for visiting your doctor. Most Americans have 2-3 “attacks” of diarrhea a year.

Common Causes

1. Viral Gastroenterits comes from food and typically is a self limiting illness that last 24-48 hours.
2. Bacteria causes of diarrhea range from a toxin in food to invasive bacteria. Most resolve without treatment in 3-5 days.
3. Food intolerance can range from a reaction to spices and cream to individuals who are intolerant of lactose or sorbitol which is a sugar substitute.
4. Medications and supplements can cause diarrhea. Special concern for clostridium difficile which is an infection that comes from antibiotics.

The best way to treat diarrhea is to avoid it. Try to only eat well cooked food and avoid buffets and food that has not been properly covered and refrigerated. Raw food is of special concern and make sure it is from a good source. Pay attention if symptoms are related to a medication or food so you can avoid in the future. One should be concerned and make sure to seek medical attention if the diarrhea is associated with fever, blood in the stool,severe pain or dehydration. Populations at special risk include the elderly, infants, and people who are immune compromised.

Next Chronic Diarrhea

-Dr. Howard Schwartz M.D. – Gastroenterologist

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One thought on “Ask the Gastroenterologist: Acute Diarrhea

  1. Pingback: How To Handle Your Pet Medical Problems? | The-Animal-Care.Net

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