Diarrhea

George M Halow, MD, PA -  - Gastroenterologist

George M Halow, MD, PA

Gastroenterologist & Nutrition Specialist located in El Paso, TX

Loose, watery stools are a common sign of diarrhea. If you’re experiencing diarrhea that won’t go away, it’s time to contact gastroenterologist and nutrition specialist George M. Halow, MD, PA, in El Paso, Texas. He not only relieves you of diarrhea, but he can also treat underlying conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Take charge of your health today. Call the office or book a consultation with Dr. Halow online.

Diarrhea Q & A

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a condition where your stools are loose, watery, and more frequent. Normal stools generally are made up of 60-90% water and are well-formed. With diarrhea,  the stool contains too much water and is shapeless.

Often accompanied by gas and cramps, diarrhea can happen when you eat food that doesn’t agree with you. It’s also caused by infections and certain medical conditions.

What causes diarrhea?

If your diarrhea lasts under a week, it may be caused by:

  • Food poisoning
  • Bacterial or viral infections or parasites
  • Side effects from medications

Chronic diarrhea, which typically lasts more than four weeks, is usually caused by:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome: a digestive tract disorder causing pain, constipation, and diarrhea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: intestinal inflammation causing pain and diarrhea
  • Malabsorption: when your small intestine doesn’t absorb nutrients properly

Drug side effects may also cause chronic diarrhea.

When should I see a doctor about diarrhea?

While not every case of diarrhea is serious, if you’re experiencing the symptoms below, you should contact Dr. Halow:

  • Significant stomach pain
  • Blood or pus in your stool
  • Chronic diarrhea or diarrhea at night
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

If you’re experiencing dehydration, you should also contact Dr. Halow. Dehydration warning signs include a dry mouth, extreme thirst, decreased urination, or listlessness.

How is diarrhea diagnosed?

Dr. Halow reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms, such as when the diarrhea started, how long it has been going on, and how severe the diarrhea has been. He performs a physical exam, including examining your abdomen.

Depending on your symptoms and what he finds, he may order tests, such as a:

  • Blood test
  • Stool test
  • Colonoscopy

He may recommend a test called sigmoidoscopy, which allows him to view your large intestine from the rectum through the end of your colon.

How is diarrhea treated?

Dr. Halow recommends a treatment plan for the precise cause of your diarrhea. Depending on your diagnosis, your plan may include drugs to relax your intestinal muscles or antidiarrheal medicine. If your diarrhea is related to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, Dr. Halow tailors your treatment to those conditions.

If you’re experiencing diarrhea, Dr. Halow provides the expert diagnosis and care you deserve. Call today or book a consultation online.

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