Gastroenterologist Suman Kaur, a board-certified physician at Digestive Disease Associates, Hinsdale, Illinois, warns patients not to ignore chronic or recurring diarrhea.

Diarrhea is defined as the rapid onset of loose and frequent stools. The presence of diarrhea may indicate an infection and could mean that the body is not absorbing necessary nutrients. Acute diarrhea typically lasts up to two weeks; chronic diarrhea lasts longer than two weeks.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Bloating

Recommended treatments may include:

  • Increased hydration with fluids (plenty of water) and salts. This is critical as dehydration can lead to more serious symptoms and in severe cases can be fatal.
  • Over the counter medications to control diarrhea
  • Antibiotics (if diarrhea caused by parasite or bacteria)
  • Limiting or avoiding some foods, such as spicy and fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, milk products, carbonated beverages.
  • Consuming bananas and probiotics.
  • Further assessment to determine if diarrhea may be caused by a more serious condition

Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or Dr. Suman Kaur of Digestive Disease Associates with any questions or concerns: (630) 325-4255.