Everyone has a bout of diarrhea from time to time, but persistent loose stools can indicate an underlying problem. With over 30 years experience, Dr. Audrey Woolrich has been providing compassionate expert care to her patients. Whether you have an acute bout of traveler's diarrhea or have been having chronic watery bowel movements, call Dr. Woolrich's office or schedule an appointment online today.
Diarrhea is loose, watery bowel movements or softer, more frequent movements than usual.
Loose watery bowel movements can occur for several reasons. An abrupt onset usually is attributed to exposure to certain bacteria, viruses or parasites.
You might experience diarrhea because of a food-borne illness, which can occur without you leaving the country. Infected food preparers or contaminated imported or even local foods could be the source of your diarrhea.
Other common causes of diarrhea include:
Most cases of diarrhea are self-limited, meaning they resolve themselves within 24-48 hours and just require rehydration with electrolyte-rich drinks.
You should seek medical attention if your diarrhea is associated with:
During your consultation with Dr. Woolrich, she will ask about your recent travels as well as the medications and supplements you have been taking for the past three months. She will inquire about your exposure to people who are ill or if you have been in a healthcare facility recently.
Dr. Woolrich will perform a complete examination and then decide whether conservative treatment with dietary manipulation and rehydration with electrolyte drinks might suffice. A probiotic might be suggested. Over the counter anti-diarrhea medications are generally not recommended.
Depending on your specific circumstances, Dr. Woolrich might immediately order stool or blood tests to aid in the diagnosis. Sometimes an endoscopic procedure such as an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy is required to make the final diagnosis.
For treatment of your acute or chronic diarrhea, call Audrey J. Woolrich, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.