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Diarrhea treatment online

Diarrhea is a common condition characterized by frequent and loose bowel movements. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections from viruses, bacteria, or parasites, food intolerances and allergies, medications, and underlying digestive disorders.

While often mild and short-lived, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other serious health issues if not managed properly.

Diarrhea varies in type and severity. Acute diarrhea is typically sudden in onset and lasts a few days, usually caused by an infection or food poisoning.

Chronic diarrhea persists longer than four weeks and may be a sign of a more serious health condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Types of diarrhea

Diarrhea can be broadly categorized into several types based on duration and underlying causes:

  • Acute diarrhea: This type lasts for a few days and is usually caused by infections such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Food poisoning is a common cause of acute diarrhea.
  • Persistent diarrhea: Lasting longer than a few days but less than four weeks, this type often stems from more prolonged infections or antibiotic use.
  • Chronic diarrhea: This type lasts for more than four weeks and may be indicative of chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or certain food intolerances.
  • Traveler’s diarrhea: Common among travelers, this type is caused by consuming contaminated food or water, typically in areas with poor sanitation.
  • Medication-induced diarrhea: Certain medications, like antibiotics, can alter the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to diarrhea.

Causes of acute diarrhea

Acute diarrhea is typically caused by:

  • Infections: Viruses like norovirus or rotavirus, bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella, and parasites like Giardia.
  • Food poisoning: Consuming contaminated food or water.
  • Medications: Antibiotics can disrupt the gut’s normal flora leading to diarrhea.
  • Toxins: Certain toxins in seafood or other foods can trigger acute diarrhea.

Causes of chronic diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea may be caused by:

  • Chronic infections: Certain parasites or bacterial infections can persist, causing ongoing symptoms.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): A disorder that affects the large intestine, leading to a range of symptoms including chronic diarrhea.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cause inflammation of the GI tract, leading to chronic diarrhea.
  • Food intolerance: Such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease.
  • Functional bowel disorders: Disorders where the bowel doesn’t work as it should, leading to diarrhea without obvious infection or structural problems.

Diarrhea symptoms

Common symptoms of diarrhea – Diarrhea typically manifests through several common symptoms that can indicate a mild to moderate condition:

  • Frequent loose or watery stools: The hallmark of diarrhea, these occur much more often than usual.
  • Abdominal cramps and pain: Discomfort and pain in the belly that often precede or accompany bowel movements.
  • Bloating: A feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdominal area.
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement: Sudden, intense urges to defecate, which can be distressing.
  • Nausea and occasional vomiting: These symptoms may accompany diarrhea, particularly if it’s caused by an infection.

Serious symptoms that warrant immediate attention – Certain symptoms associated with diarrhea are more severe and require urgent medical care:

  • Severe dehydration: Symptoms include a very dry mouth, extreme thirst, reduced or no urination, dizziness, and lethargy.
  • High fever: A fever exceeding 102°F (39°C) can indicate a serious infection.
  • Bloody or black stools: Presence of blood or unusually dark stools can signify internal bleeding or severe infections.
  • Persistent vomiting: Continuous vomiting can prevent rehydration and worsen the risk of dehydration.

Medical help should be sought immediately if:

  • Diarrhea persists for more than two days without any sign of improvement.
  • Any of the serious symptoms listed above are present.
  • The person affected is a child or an elderly individual, as these groups are more vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.

Immediate consultation ensures that underlying causes are promptly addressed and complications are avoided, especially in cases of severe or persistent symptoms.

Treatment of diarrhea

The treatment of diarrhea focuses on addressing dehydration and managing symptoms. Key approaches include:

  • Rehydration: Drinking plenty of fluids such as water, broth, and oral rehydration solutions (ORS) to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Eating bland, easy-to-digest foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT diet) can help ease symptoms.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter medications like loperamide (Imodium) can reduce the frequency of diarrhea. In cases of bacterial infections, a doctor might prescribe antibiotics.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Foods that can aggravate the stomach such as dairy, fatty foods, and spicy foods should be avoided until symptoms improve.

Medication for diarrhea

The medication used to treat diarrhea depends on its cause and severity:

  • Antidiarrheal Agents: Over-the-counter medications such as loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) can reduce the frequency and urgency of diarrhea.
  • Antibiotics: Prescribed for bacterial infections like Salmonella or E. coli. These are only used when specifically indicated, as unnecessary use can worsen certain types of diarrhea.
  • Probiotics: Supplements containing beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus can help restore the natural balance of gut flora, particularly after antibiotic use.
  • Other Medications: In cases of chronic conditions like IBS or IBD, other medications such as antispasmodics or biologics may be prescribed to manage symptoms.

How can DrHouse help you?

DrHouse can assist with diarrhea by offering quick access to healthcare professionals via telehealth services. Patients can consult with doctors online, receive diagnoses, and obtain prescriptions if necessary, all from the comfort of their homes.

By using DrHouse, you can receive not just immediate and effective treatment for diarrhea, but also a thorough evaluation of any underlying health issues that might be contributing to your symptoms.

This all-encompassing approach helps in managing both the immediate discomfort and the overall health concern effectively and conveniently.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can diarrhea be treated with telehealth?

Yes, the doctors at DrHouse are equipped to diagnose and treat diarrhea through telehealth appointments. They can assess the severity of your condition, provide necessary prescriptions, and offer guidance on managing symptoms.

Can I get prescription medication for diarrhea online?

Yes, if deemed appropriate by a doctor after an online consultation. Our doctors can prescribe necessary medication for treating diarrhea.

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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Frequently asked questions

  • DrHouse offers a wide array of telehealth services tailored to meet diverse patient needs.

    Our primary services include urgent care and primary care consultations, which cover immediate medical assistance for non-life-threatening conditions as well as comprehensive healthcare for chronic and ongoing medical concerns.

    We also provide specialized condition-based services, including dermatology appointments, men’s health, and women’s health visits.

    Our team of licensed physicians has expertise in various medical fields to ensure that we can address a wide range of patient needs effectively and efficiently.

  • DrHouse operates on the principles of convenience, accessibility, and quality healthcare. Our telehealth platform is designed to provide on-demand doctors’ visits for urgent care needs, sparing you the hassle of prolonged waiting periods and ensuring timely medical assistance.

    Using DrHouse is a straightforward process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:

    • Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
    • Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
    • Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
    • Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
    • A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to create a personalized treatment plan.
    • If necessary, a doctor will electronically send a prescription to your chosen pharmacy.

    For more information visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.

  • During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.

    The consultation will consist of a video call where the physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that the physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your treatment plan.

    The physician may also request additional information or diagnostic tests, such as blood work or imaging if needed.

    You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.

    Once the physician has assessed your needs, they will create a personalized treatment plan, which may include prescribing medication or recommending further medical care.

  • At DrHouse, we understand the value of your time and health, which is why our on-demand urgent care service is designed to work quickly and efficiently. From the moment you request a consultation, it takes only up to 15 minutes to see a doctor.

  • Yes, physicians at DrHouse can prescribe almost any medication, including refills, that is not classified as a controlled substance. DrHouse physicians also will not prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, or HRT medications. It’s crucial to note that the prescription of any medication is purely at the discretion of our healthcare professionals.

    They will assess your medical history, symptoms, and current medications to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you. If your physician believes that a certain medication is necessary for your well-being, it will be prescribed.

  • Absolutely, it is safe to use DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.

    All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.

    We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing and refilling of medications.

    Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.

  • DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.

    The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.

    To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page.

  • Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.