This is when you have diarrhea that isn’t quite as noticeable yet still causes uncomfortable watery stools.
While this is not an emergency, it can be frustrating and unpleasant.
The cause of this type of diarrhea is usually due to an upset stomach or the use of laxatives. It can also be due to other conditions, such as:
- A recent change in diet or eating habits
- Hormonal changes
- Hormonal imbalances
It’s important to distinguish between these types of diarrhea, since some types can be life-threatening.
Some other possible causes of watery diarrhea are:
- Infections, such as a virus or bacterial infection
- Taking certain prescription medications
- Taking over-the-counter medication
- Taking certain herbal products
Acute or chronic diarrhea can also occur:
- With a low-protein diet
- In the context of a disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- After taking a certain prescription medication
- After taking certain herbal products
There are many treatments for diarrhea, and it’s important to consult with a doctor before trying any home remedies.
Diarrhea and pregnancy
Pregnancy-related diarrhea typically occurs in the second trimester of pregnancy. It typically affects the first trimester, but it can also happen in the third trimester.
Symptoms of diarrhea during pregnancy may include:
- Loose stools
Treatment for diarrhea during pregnancy depends on its cause. Some treatments may be over-the-counter medications or herbal products.
For example, you can take a laxative or an antidiarrheal medication to treat diarrhea.
If your diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotic treatment.
If your diarrhea is caused by a viral infection, you may need to treat with a medication.
If your diarrhea is caused by an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you may need to treat with medication.
Other treatment options for diarrhea during pregnancy include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Eating a diet that is low in fiber and high in water
- Taking over-the-counter medications
- Taking antidiarrheal medications
Diarrhea and other conditions
Your doctor can diagnose the cause of the diarrhea with a physical exam and a review of your symptoms.
Here are a few other conditions that can cause diarrhea:
- Intestinal obstruction
- Colon cancer
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Your doctor may recommend treatment for these conditions.
In some cases, the diarrhea may be due to a food allergy, such as to dairy or soy.
Food allergies can cause diarrhea. Here are several ways to manage food allergies.
Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms
Gastrointestinal symptoms can indicate other conditions, such as:
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Pancreatic cancer
Here are several other conditions that may cause gastrointestinal symptoms:
- Celiac disease
- Functional bowel disorders
- Celiac sprue
Treatment for these conditions depends on the underlying cause.
Diarrhea and anxiety
If you have diarrhea and anxiety, there are steps you can take to treat your condition.
Stress and diarrhea
Stress can cause diarrhea. It’s a common cause of diarrhea in people with Crohn’s disease.
Here are steps you can take to manage stress and manage diarrhea:
- Identify what causes your stress
- Manage your stress
- Find ways to relax
- Schedule a time to relax
- Practice relaxation techniques
Taking an anti-nausea medication, such as loperamide (Imodium), can also help soothe symptoms of diarrhea.
Fever and diarrhea
A fever can cause diarrhea. It’s a common cause of diarrhea in people with Crohn’s disease.
Here are steps you can take to manage diarrhea with a fever:
- Identify what causes your fever
- Manage your fever
- Find ways to manage your fever
- Schedule a time to rest
A medication, such as loperamide (Imodium), can also help soothe symptoms of diarrhea.
Acid reflux and diarrhea
Acid reflux, also called heartburn, can cause diarrhea.
Here are steps you can take to manage acid reflux and manage diarrhea:
- Identify what causes your acid reflux
- Manage your acid reflux
- Find ways to manage acid reflux
An antacid medication, such as lansoprazole (Prevacid), can also help soothe symptoms of diarrhea.
Several medications can treat diarrhea. Here are some commonly used medications:
- Antidiarrheal medications
Here are some examples of other medications that can treat diarrhea:
- Hydration salts
- Dumping syndrome
- Pancreatic enzyme supplements
- Antibiotic powders
- Antibiotic tablets
- Antipsychotic medications
You can also try a natural approach to treating diarrhea.
Natural remedies for diarrhea
Here are some natural remedies that may help treat diarrhea. These remedies may also help treat other symptoms of diarrhea.
Here are some of the natural remedies that may help treat diarrhea:
- A diet high in fiber
- Probiotics and prebiotics
- Probiotic supplements
- Lactobacillus and prebiotic supplements
- Lactase enzymes
- Lactase enzymes and prebiotic supplements
- Aloe vera
- Aloe vera and prebiotic supplements
When to see a doctor?
See your doctor if you have diarrhea for more than two days.
Diarrhea can also indicate a serious condition, such as:
- A bacterial gastroenteritis, which is a type of bacterial diarrhea
- IBD, which is an inflammatory bowel disease
You should also see your doctor if you have diarrhea for more than two days and:
- You have a fever
- You have severe stomach pain
- You have a loss of appetite
- You are vomiting blood
- You have a low white blood cell count
- You have pain in your abdomen
Take the following steps to help treat your diarrhea, which can be a sign of a more serious condition:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat a high-fiber diet.
- Take over-the-counter medications, such as antidiarrheal medications.
- Take a narcotic pain medication.
- Take an antispasmodic medication.
- Take an antibiotic.
- Take a loperamide (Imodium) medication.
If you have symptoms of a serious condition, you may need to receive treatment from a medical professional.
What is the outlook for people with diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a common condition, especially if it has no other symptoms.
However, it can be a sign of a more serious or life-threatening condition.
If you have diarrhea and other signs of a serious condition, you should see a doctor.
If you have diarrhea and no other signs of a serious condition, you can try some of these natural remedies.
If your diarrhea lasts for more than two days, see your doctor.
It’s important to identify the cause of diarrhea, which is often related to something you ate or were exposed to.
It’s also important to see a doctor if your diarrhea lasts longer than two days or is accompanied by other symptoms.
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