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Suggest treatment for persistent diarrhoea

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Posted on Fri, 11 Dec 2015
Question: i have had diarriah (sp) for appx 30 out of the last 40 days. wondering your thoughts?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (27 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Time for a work-up for diarrhea.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Well that sounds miserable. Usually when a patient has had diarrhea for 4 or more weeks, we start a work up. So it is time for you to see your family practice or internal medicine doctor to get this started.

Work up for chronic diarrhea would include a thorough history, and a physical exam including palpation of the abdomen and percussion of liver size. You'll be asked to give stool samples (in special containers) and have some initial blood work done. The blood tests will likely include a CBC, albumin (protein) level, ESR (a test for inflammation), liver function tests, TSH (a thyroid test), and electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium, chloride).

There are many different causes for chronic diarrhea - everything from irritable bowel to infections, malabsorption, and inflammatory bowel disease. A detailed history will help the doctor narrow down the possible causes.

Here is a good article summarizing the standard work-up and what the various possibilities are that might be going wrong:
http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1115/p1119.html

I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.



Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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Suggest treatment for persistent diarrhoea

Brief Answer: Time for a work-up for diarrhea. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, Well that sounds miserable. Usually when a patient has had diarrhea for 4 or more weeks, we start a work up. So it is time for you to see your family practice or internal medicine doctor to get this started. Work up for chronic diarrhea would include a thorough history, and a physical exam including palpation of the abdomen and percussion of liver size. You'll be asked to give stool samples (in special containers) and have some initial blood work done. The blood tests will likely include a CBC, albumin (protein) level, ESR (a test for inflammation), liver function tests, TSH (a thyroid test), and electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium, chloride). There are many different causes for chronic diarrhea - everything from irritable bowel to infections, malabsorption, and inflammatory bowel disease. A detailed history will help the doctor narrow down the possible causes. Here is a good article summarizing the standard work-up and what the various possibilities are that might be going wrong: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1115/p1119.html I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.