Almost everyone gets diarrhea on occasion, but chronic diarrhea is usually a sign of an underlying condition, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. At Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park in New York City, expert physicians Bharat Sanghavi, MD, Moushumi Sanghavi, MD, and Samantha Nazareth, MD, are experienced in evaluating the underlying causes of diarrhea and helping men and women successfully manage their symptoms. If you have chronic diarrhea, click or call to schedule an appointment today.
Diarrhea is a condition that causes stools to be loose and watery. Diarrhea occurs when your body is unable to absorb water from food and liquids passing through your colon.
Acute diarrhea means the case is short-term and is not usually a cause for concern. Acute diarrhea usually lasts for 2 to 3 days and is treatable with over-the-counter medications.
Chronic diarrhea is when a case of diarrhea that lasts longer than four weeks. Chronic diarrhea usually points to an underlying condition and can itself lead to serious complications, including severe dehydration, weight loss, and malnutrition.
Inflammatory conditions and food intolerances that can cause chronic diarrhea include:
If you have persistent diarrhea, it’s important that you schedule an appointment at Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park so your doctor can identify the cause and come up with a treatment plan.
Inflammatory bowel disease describes a group of chronic conditions, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and microscopic colitis, that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. This inflammation causes chronic diarrhea as well as:
Blood in stool
Loss of appetite
Non-dietary weight loss
To determine if your chronic diarrhea results from inflammatory bowel disease, your doctor at Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park may conduct tests, including a blood test, a stool test, and an endoscopy or colonoscopy.
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, your symptoms, including diarrhea, will sometimes flare up. One of the most important parts of living with inflammatory bowel disease is preventing and managing flare-ups. Your doctor will likely prescribe chronic medications to manage this disease.
Celiac disease is a condition that affects your body’s response to gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. If you have celiac disease and eat something with wheat in it, your small intestine can become inflamed, leading to digestive symptoms including diarrhea.
To see if you have celiac disease, your doctor will ask questions about your diet to determine whether a gluten intolerance may be the source of your chronic diarrhea. Your doctor will help you follow a gluten-free diet, which will allow your small intestine to heal and help provide you with relief from your digestive symptoms.
If you want to stop your chronic diarrhea, call or schedule an appointment online with Gastroenterology on Gramercy Park today.