Diarrhea is when your stool is extremely soft, loose, and liquid-like, often accompanied by an urgent need to go to the bathroom to have a bowel movement. Diarrhea can dehydrate you, become dangerous for your health, or be the symptom of a more serious existing health condition. Many diseases, conditions, and environmental causes can cause diarrhea, including:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Bacteria and parasites
- C. difficile (C. diff) bacteria
- Lactose intolerance
- Other digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, microscopic colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Signs and symptoms associated with diarrhea may include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stool
- Loose, watery stools
- Urgent need to have a bowel movement
Your GI doctor will do a complete physical exam and gather your health history to diagnose the cause of your diarrhea.
Your GI specialist may order a blood test to try to pinpoint the underlying cause of your diarrhea.
Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Endoscopy
Your doctor will use a thin, lighted tube that has a camera on one end (endoscope) to carefully examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
This test uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the lining and walls of your digestive tract. These images can help your GI doctor determine the cause of your diarrhea.
We may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) of your esophagus lining for analysis in our laboratory. This can help us determine if there are any underlying causes of your diarrhea.
We can accurately diagnose your diarrhea through a medical examination and review of your past health history.
Your GI doctor may order a stool sample be sent to our laboratory for analysis to check for bacteria in the digestive tract or other underlying causes of diarrhea.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy or Colonoscopy
If your doctor cannot determine the cause of your diarrhea with the above tests, they may use a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to take a closer look at the lining of the colon.
Your GI doctor may remove a small tissue sample (biopsy) to be sent to the laboratory for further analysis and diagnosis.
Why Choose UHealth?
Fecal transplant to treat C. difficile (C. diff) bacteria. An innovative treatment option, we offer fecal transplant for those with the difficult-to-treat C. diff bacteria. This treatment can help to greatly reduce or eliminate chronic diarrhea that is associated with C. diff.
A Motility lab for accurate diagnosis of GI conditions. The only facility of its kind in South Florida, our motility lab enables our GI specialists to provide accurate diagnoses of GI conditions more quickly and efficiently. We offer a variety of leading-edge services, such as hydrogen breath testing, anal-rectal manometry, and bio-feedback.
A broad array of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Regardless of your age, condition, or whether you need long- or short-term digestive treatments, you will receive the most accurate diagnosis and most effective treatment to keep your stomach, digestive system, and organs healthy.
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