Manhattan Gastroenterology
  • MIDTOWN 51 EAST 25TH, 4 FL New York, NY, 10010
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D New York, NY, 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 102 New York, NY, 10011
Updated on Aug 5, 2021 by Dr. Shawn Khodadadian (Gastroenterologist) of Manhattan Gastroenterology

Diarrhea refers to a bowel movement composed of loose watery stools. If you have diarrhea, you will likely suffer more frequent trips to the bathroom than usual. Persistent diarrhea should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a gastroenterologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Symptoms of Diarrhea

Most everyone knows what diarrhea looks like and feels like. Frequent loose or watery bowel movements are no fun. In a serious case of diarrhea, the symptoms you can expect include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Bloody stools
  • Cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Little or dark-colored urine
  • Rectal pain
  • Vomiting

★ ★ ★ ★ ★I came in for a consultation for an issue I’ve been having with my stomach for about 2 months. Dr. Yakubov was very kind, informative and made me feel at ease about my current situation.

If you experience any of these symptoms with diarrhea, make sure you get plenty of fluids and be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.

Causes of Diarrhea

There are many causes of diarrhea. Underlying them all is your body’s inability to absorb the water from food and fluid as they pass through your colon, which results in the loose, watery stools. This can be due to the type or quantity of food you eat or because of an illness in your digestive tract. Here are the most common causes of diarrhea:

  • Bacteria or parasites from contaminated, spoiled or undercooked food (usually meats and dairy products)
  • Contaminated water (often in a developing country)
  • Viruses from unwashed surfaces or personal contact with infected individuals
  • Antibiotics that indiscriminately kill bacteria, creating the possibility of infection
  • Other medications, like some cancer drugs, blood pressure drugs and antacids
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Fructose intolerance
  • Intolerance for certain artificial sweeteners
  • Previous abdominal surgery, such as to remove your gallbladder
  • Chronic digestive diseases such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, hyperthyroidism, Addison’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, microscopic colitis, chronic pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease

Many other conditions may also cause diarrhea that need full evaluation by a gastroenterologist for appropriate workup.

Diagnosing Diarrhea

If you’re experiencing persistent diarrhea, our doctors want to find out what’s causing it so they can treat it properly. When you come in for a visit to our offices they will perform a comprehensive physical and take a full history.  If you’re taking any medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, please tell your doctor. If necessary, they will collect blood, urine and/or stool samples for further analysis and may prescribe certain diagnostic tests or procedures as needed.  Your doctor may suggest a colonoscopy with biopsies in order to properly diagnose your condition and rule out other conditions.  Other testing including upper endoscopy or imaging may required in certain cases as directed by your physician.

Treating Diarrhea

Your gastroenterologist will need to perform a full workup in order to arrive at a diagnosis for your diarrhea as there may be many potential causes.  Only after a diagnosis is made can he or she prescribe an effective treatment regimen that addresses the underlying issue.  These options may include treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, adjust of your medications, dietary modifications, treatment of infections diagnosed, medical therapy for microscopic colitis, etc.  These are only a few of the possible therapies in addition to replacing lost fluid and electrolytes.   Your gastroenterologist will customize a treatment plan for your symptoms once the diagnosis is well established.

Our doctors provide highly personalized and comprehensive care. For more information about the GI conditions we treat, including treatment & diagnosis of diarrhea, or to schedule a consultation please contact our NYC offices.

Dr. Shawn Khodadadian has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Manhattan Gastroenterology Locations: Manhattan Gastroenterology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave Ste 1D, NY 10028
(212) 427-8761
Manhattan Gastroenterology (Midtown) 51 East 25th Street Ste 407, NY 10010
(212) 533-2400
Manhattan Gastroenterology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St Ste 102, NY 10011
(212) 378-9983


The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class gastroenterologist for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including abdominal pain, hemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.