What causes severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and weakness?

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Posted on Tue, 16 Jun 2015 in General Health
Question: MY FRIEND HAS HAD BOWEL MOVEMENTS 6 TO 10 TIMES ADAY FOR ABOUT 1 WEEK TERRIBLE CRAMPS AND WEAKNESS
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
it needs investigation

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

it's not clear from your description whether the symptoms started after the CT or before. Why did he do the CT? Please describe his symptoms or the reason his doctor ordered the CT. Did he do other tests too? Can you upload the results?

The CT scan of the abdomen may cause diarrhea because of the contrast media that the patient has to drink (not the IV drug). But it shouldn't last for a week. 24 hours is more typical for the contrast media.

If he had no other problems and he's otherwise healthy then gastroenteritis is the most likely cause. Since it has lasted for a week a viral etiology is possible. You haven't mentioned fever. Did he have fever? Blood in the stool? Does he eat home made food or does he eat hamburgers and other fast-food? Did he come into contact with sick individuals (particularly children)? A stool culture and miscoscopic examination of the stool are essential tests that have to be done. A complete blood count and inflammatory markers like the erythrocyte sedimenation rate and C-reactive protein (quantitative measurement), urea and creatinine would help a lot to assess his condition.

Other causes are possible too, like diverticulitis (usually presents with left lower abdominal pain and diarrhea), ischemic colitis (diarrhea, blood in the stool, cardiovascular risk factors), inflammatory bowel disease (needs colonoscopy to assess them), etc

I'll be glad to comment on the test reports, if you'd like to upload them.

Regarding treatment, if he has blood in the stool or fever, then imodium should not be used. Enough fluids have to ingested to avoid dehydration. And he should avoid milk, fat and too much fiber until he gets better.

I hope I've helped!

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3679 Questions

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