Changes in your bowel patterns, like diarrhea and constipation, are uncomfortable and, if they persist, a reason for concern. At Southend Gastroenterology Associates in Louisville, Kentucky, highly trained gastroenterologist Sanjay Jain, MD, can help. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today if you suffer from severe or chronic diarrhea and constipation.
It’s common to experience diarrhea or constipation occasionally. But if these conditions become chronic or lead to painful side effects, it’s important to seek professional help.
Diarrhea describes loose, watery stools. You may also suffer abdominal pain and cramping along with diarrhea. The digestive condition can indicate an infection, underlying condition, or medication side effect.
If you experience severe diarrhea and show signs of dehydration or fatigue, seek help. If you have signs of nutritional deficiencies or blood in your stools, you should also be concerned about diarrhea.
Acute diarrhea means you have a sudden onset of watery stool lasting less than two weeks. You may experience gas, bloating, and cramping alongside diarrhea. Even when diarrhea is acute, it can be serious and cause dehydration and fatigue. Viral gastroenteritis, or the “stomach bug,” is the most common cause of acute diarrhea.
Diarrhea that lasts longer than two weeks is considered chronic. Ongoing diarrhea can be a symptom of irritable bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Chronic diarrhea often features greasy, foul-smelling stools that indicate malabsorption of nutrients.
Constipation is usually diagnosed if you have fewer than 2-3 bowel movements a week. Hard stools that are difficult to pass are a hallmark sign of constipation. Constipation can indicate an underlying condition or result from taking certain medications. Your diet may also play a role in constipation.
If you can’t get things moving by adding fiber to your diet and constipation causes uncomfortable blockages or hemorrhoids, schedule a consultation at Southend Gastroenterology Associates.
Constipation most often results from lifestyle choices, including inadequate fluid and fiber intake. But chronic constipation is not a condition you should ignore and assume you can fix.
Chronic constipation can lead to serious health problems, including the following:
When you can’t get your bowels moving with at-home interventions like increased fiber in your diet or taking supplements, make an appointment at Southend Gastroenterology Associates. Dr. Jain can determine the root cause of your constipation and provide a treatment plan.
To have your diarrhea and constipation evaluated, call Southend Gastroenterology Associates or schedule an appointment online today.