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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Hi, I have had sudden onset diarrhea two nights ago

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 2346 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 7 Feb 2019 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hi,
I have had sudden onset diarrhea two nights ago and stool passes about three times a day. It usually passes soon after meals.
It is different in that it has a distinctive rotten eggs smell and is quite watery. I have tried activated charcoal and smecta but they are not yet able to fully stop the diarrhea. Overnight I did not have a serious issue with the diarrhea but it starts quite intensely again soon after food and requires two motions to pass. I do not have fever or severe stomach pain.

I am wondering if it could be c.difficile infection?
Is it possible to get c.difficile infection from food? Should I continue to take smecta if I have a more serious infection such as c.difficile or is it not recommended? Could taking probiotics which may have gone bad due to too much exposure to heat cause these symptoms?

How could I test to rule out more serious infections?


Thank you,
Regards.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Acute gastroenteritis.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and Welcome to 'Ask A Doctor' service.
I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.
1)Yes it could be clos difficle or E.coli or any other bacteria.You need to do a stool culture test to find the exact species of bacteria involved. Basically you are having Gastroenteritis which means that due to bacterial infection intestines are inflammed so they are unable to digest food absorb water and secrete lots of mucous.
2)Yes food and infected water are the commonest source.
3)Take initially over the counter drug imodium 4 mg thrice daily to stop diarrhea asap.After every motion drink a glass of oral rehydration solution.Diarrhea causes lose of electrolytes like sodium and potassium.Oral rehydration solution is very very important.
4)After proper stool test take a course of Antibiotic like Ciprofloxacin with Metronidazole to get rid of this bacteria.
5)Charcoal etc is not going to help much as it's infection.
6)Probiotic is good and take VSL#3 twice daily.
7)Get a stool culture sensitivity test done along with ultrasound abdomen.

Hope I was short and easy to understand.
Feel free to follow up.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 18 hours later
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX

I have seen a doctor and he said that since onset was within 1-2 hours after food the cause is probably viral. Would you agree and what could be the treatment? Should smecta be taken in case of viral infection? Will probiotic supplements help in case of viral infection?

He mentioned that stool tests have a low yield only a few days after event. I have noticed that soon after taking what appear to be dairy products like coffee or cream biscuits, I will have quite a sudden urge to pass stool and it will be very watery. Could this indicate a cause such as lactose intolerance?


Thanks,
Regards.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 2 minutes later
Brief Answer:
follow up.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,
If its viral then it would settle down by itself in a week.
However over the counter imodium tablets can be taken to stop loose motion(4mg two times).
Yes probiotic's will help in maintaining the overall gut flora.So yes they should be continued.
Yes smecta can be taken but taking two doses of imodium would be much helpful to control loose stools.
4)I have noticed that soon after taking what appear to be dairy products like coffee or cream biscuits, I will have quite a sudden urge to pass stool and it will be very watery. Could this indicate a cause such as lactose intolerance?-Whats the duration?Lactose tolerance does not develop suddenly in a day or week.Please mwention the duration of your observation.
Waiting!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 48 minutes later
Thankyou Dr. XXXXXXX

I will have the need for motion as soon as 15 mins after taking the dairy products. Uncomfortable sensation could be about 5 minutes afterwards. Does this distinguish between viral and bacterial infection?


Thanks
Regards.
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 4 minutes later
Dear Dr. XXXXXXX

Thankyou. In addition, normally I do not have a serious issue with dairy products but maybe a very slight feeling of discomfort and gas. It is only after this diarrhea incident, I noticed a significant dairy issue.


Thanks.
Regards.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Follow up.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
No symptoms of both are same.
Bacterial needs antibiotic while virus has a period of 7 to 10 days after which it settles by itself.
Infact history of loose motion after having Chinese food is more suggestive of bacterial infection(as per me).
No it's not lactose intolerance once your infection is cured you would be fine with dairy.
Thanks!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 2 days later
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX

I have mostly recovered now. I believe it could have been bacterial infection and am not sure difference of 3-4 hours and 1-2 hours before onset of symptoms can distinguish between bacterial and viral infection.

I did have some seafood before the onset of symptoms and the weather was very warm.


Thankyou,
Regards.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 50 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Your welcome dear.

Detailed Answer:
Hello my dear patient,
Happy to hear that you are well now.
Thanks for appreciation,
Do rate the answer.
Have a good day.
Please let me know if I can help you any more.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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