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Have chronic diarehhea. Pepto bismal works temporarily. Now trying imodium. Suggest?

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Practicing since : 2008
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Have chronic diarehhea. ! month now. Subsides for 2 or 3 days then returns for up to 1 week. Usually have bowel movement only in morning time. Pepto bismal works temporarily. First had violent case when in Thailand 1 month ago. Now trying Imodium. Keeping diet simple. Toast, rice, yogurt, banana, applesauce and tried probiotics with some temporary success.( had good bowel movement for 4 days then had excessive activity for one day and back to diarehea the next) No fever, bloating, cramps or other symptoms that I am aware. I have lost 10 lbs of weight from high 160s to high 150s. Have any idea what is going on? Never had intestinal problems before!
Posted Thu, 11 Jul 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

Your symptoms can be caused by chronic intestines infection due to food eaten in Thailand. Every world region has very different bacteria in the food. Such bacteria can cause bowels issues for tourists.

However, as you are over the age of 50, colon cancer should be also ruled out. You need to know that over 50, the risk of this cancer significantly rises. That is why, it is recommended for every person older than 50 to have colonoscopy every 10 years.
Diarrhea and weight loss can be a symptom of colon cancer.

I suggest you to get scheduled for colonoscopy. In a meanwhile, stool tests (every diarrhea which lasts longer than 48 hours should be diagnosed with stool tests) should be done to determine if there is an infection and what bacteria is causing it.
You may also discuss Rifaximine treatment with your doctor (this is very safe antibiotic very good for such infections, some doctors start treatment with this medicine even before stool tests).

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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