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Diarrhea (cont.)

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When should the doctor be called for diarrhea?

Most episodes of diarrhea are mild and of short duration and do not need to be brought to the attention of a doctor. The doctor should be consulted when there is:

  • High fever (temperature greater than 101 F or 38.3 C
  • Moderate or severe abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Bloody diarrhea that suggests severe intestinal inflammation
  • Diarrhea in persons with serious underlying illness for whom dehydration may have more serious consequences, for example, persons with diabetes, heart disease, and AIDS
  • Severe diarrhea that shows no improvement after 48 hours.
  • Moderate or severe dehydration
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents intake of fluids orally
  • Acute diarrhea in pregnant women because of concern for the health of the fetus
  • Diarrhea that occurs during or immediately after completing a course of antibiotics because the diarrhea may represent antibiotic-associated infection with C. difficile that requires treatment
  • Diarrhea after returning from developing countries or from camping in the mountains because there may be infection with Giardia (for which there is treatment)
  • Diarrhea that develops in patients with chronic intestinal diseases such as colitis, or Crohn's disease because the diarrhea may represent worsening of the underlying disease or a complication of the disease, both requiring treatment
  • Acute diarrhea in an infant or young child in order to ensure the appropriate use of oral liquids (type, amount, and rate), to prevent or treat dehydration, and to prevent complications of inappropriate use of liquids such as seizures and abnormal blood electrolytes
  • Chronic diarrhea
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2014

Patient Comments

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Diarrhea - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your diarrhea?
Diarrhea - Causes Question: What was the suspected cause of diarrhea in you, a friend, or relative?
Diarrhea - Antibiotics Question: Were you prescribed antibiotics for diarrhea? If so, why and what antibiotic was prescribed.
Diarrhea - Share Your Experience Question: Please share your experience with chronic diarrhea.
Diarrhea - Food Poisoning Question: Did you ever get diarrhea from something you ate? What was the food? Please describe your experience.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/diarrhea/article.htm

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