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    How can severe diarrhea be treated?

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Posted on Tue, 11 Jul 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I took about 50 ml of Phillips Milk of Magnesia approx. 54 hours ago and I now still have diarrhea despite taking Pepto Bismal to stop it. Is this normal or some type of a problem?

doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
this can occur, though would normally last less than 24 hours

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Milk of magnesia can have this effect though in most persons, the effect does not last this long. Usually less than 24 hours.

It should resolve on its own but in the meantime, you can consider: (1) holding off all solid food till there is a 4 hour window with no diarrhea. This is to give the colon time to get over the influence of the medication.

When this 4 hour period occurs, start with small amounts of dry food

(2)use a lot of liquids to help replace the fluid that you are losing. Oral hydration fluids would be best

(3)probiotics- though these are normally used to help with diarrhea caused by infection, they may still be helpful here

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 37 minutes later
The Phillips Milk of Magnesia did not kick in with a gush of diarrhea but only with almost what one would call a "leaking" of dark watery material with no solids about 90 minutes after I took the Phillips Milk of Magnesia. The two pieces of solids (turds) did not come until approximately 36 hours after taking the Phillips Milk of Magnesia. It was almost like there was something clogging me and the small amount of diarrhea was leaking around the clog. After the two solids did come out I thought I was home free but the abbreviated non-solid diarrhea has continued if I even walk twenty meters or so. OTOH, I did sleep all night last night without a problem but within ten minuets of getting up I was back on the stool with limited black watery output (black caused by the Pepto Bismal). Do you think that it is possible that I do have a blockage and if so, what should I do about it? I am about 45 minutes from my ER and am not sure I could ride that far without an accident.
Cheers,
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
leakage can occur around solid stool

Detailed Answer:
HI

Obstruction of the bowel would normally be associated with bloating, significant cramping (trying to get pass block) abdominal pain, less or no passing air or stool

Since you are having bowel movements, even if they are diarrhea, an absolute blockage is not likely

In some persons with constipation, soft or loose stool leaks around the hard stool. This is the reason that some persons with constipation can still have watery intermittent stool.

If there is no abdominal pain, then a significant block is unlikely, also the 2 relatively solid stool movements would not have occurred

Please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 13 hours later
Thanks for the prompt reply, it was appreciated. It does seem a bit better this morning and I got through the night fine. It is just the pain in my butt (no pun intended) that is the big problem. In short, is your best GUESS that my problem will cure itself without seeing a doctor in Gastroenterology?
Thanks again.
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 minutes later
Brief Answer:
improvement should continue

Detailed Answer:
HI

Yes, usually if an illness/symptoms start to improve, they continue on this trend.

It is expected that there should be continued improvement seen. Remember fluids, probiotics and give the colon time to heal (holding off solid till 4 hour window

If anything else , can let me know
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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