Diarrhea Gastroenterologist NYC (GI Doctor)
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 as it may be a symptom of a serious illness or condition. Diarrhea used to be one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. because if left untreated, it can lead to serious dehydration.
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:
- Fever above 102° F (39° C)
- Little or dark-colored urine
- Rectal pain
If you experience any of these symptoms with diarrhea, make sure you get plenty of fluids and come in to see one of our doctors.
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 and other conditions that need full evaluation by a gastroenterologist for appropriate workup.
If you’re experiencing severe 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 in Midtown or on the Upper East Side, they’ll give you a physical exam. They also will review your medical history and any recent changes in your diet. 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.
If your diarrhea lasts longer than a couple days, you may need treatment. Treatment options include:
- Addressing an underlying medical problem, such as inflammatory bowel disease, which only a gastroenterologist can resolve
- Adjusting your medications
- Avoiding dairy until you are well again
- Changing your diet
- Replacing lost fluid, either orally or intravenously
- Restoring electrolyte balance
As best in class NYC gastroenterologists, our doctors provide highly personalized and comprehensive care. Their philosophies regarding the doctor/patient relationship is based on trust and has earned them some of the most respected reputations in NYC.
For more information about the GI conditions we treat, including treatment & diagnosis of diarrhea, or to schedule a consultation with one of our GI doctors, please contact our NYC office.