Acute (<14 Days)
Chronic (30+ days)
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Based on the symptoms you've reported, it appears you may be experiencing gastroenteritis, often referred to as a stomach bug. This condition is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and sometimes vomiting and fever.
Gastroenteritis often resolves on its own within a few days. In the meantime, it is important to stay well-hydrated. Dehydration can occur with diarrhea and vomiting, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Water is good, but you might also consider oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte or sports drinks, which can help replenish lost electrolytes.
While you're experiencing diarrhea, a bland diet can help. Consider the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) and other easy-to-digest foods. Once your symptoms start to improve, you can gradually return to your normal diet.
If you feel the need, over-the-counter treatments like loperamide (Imodium) can be used to control your diarrhea. However, if your symptoms persist for more than a week, or if they worsen (such as high fever, severe abdominal pain, blood in stool, or signs of dehydration like dry mouth, decreased urine output, or dizziness), please contact our office or seek immediate medical attention.
The history will be key for determining the etiology of a patient’s diarrhea. Most acute diarrheal illnesses will be self-limited and won’t require workup or treatment beyond useual supportive care with fluids, electrolytes, and loperamide. Some red flags include weight loss, bloody stools, severe pain, or evidence of dehydration. Chronic diarrhea warrants a thorough workup to evaluate for infectious, inflammatory, functional, and malabsorptive etiologies.
Character of Diarrhea