William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Diarrhea facts
- What is diarrhea?
- How is diarrhea defined?
- Why does diarrhea develop?
- What symptoms are associated with diarrhea?
- What are common causes of acute diarrhea?
- Viral gastroenteritis
- Food poisoning
- Traveler's diarrhea
- Bacterial enterocolitis
- What are common causes of chronic diarrhea?
- What are the complications of diarrhea?
- When should the doctor be called for diarrhea?
- What tests are useful in the evaluation of diarrhea?
- How can dehydration be prevented and treated?
- What is the treatment for diarrhea?
- When should antibiotics be used for diarrhea?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
When should antibiotics be used for diarrhea?
Most episodes of diarrhea are acute and of short duration and do not require antibiotics. Antibiotics are not even necessary for the most common bacterial infections that cause diarrhea. Antibiotics, however, often are used when (1) patients have more severe and persistent diarrhea, (2) patients have additional debilitating diseases such as heart failure, lung disease, and AIDS, (3) stool examination and testing discloses parasites, more serious bacterial infections(for example, Shigella), or C. difficile, and 4) traveler's diarrhea.
Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Diarrhoea
Medically reviewed by Donald Lee, DO; Board Certified Family Practice
UpToDate. Patient information: Chronic diarrhea in adults (Beyond the Basics).
UpToDate. Patient information: Acute diarrhea in children (Beyond the Basics).
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