Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms for people who head into Urgent Care. While most cases of diarrhea resolve without treatment, in severe cases, diarrhea may cause serious complications that can be dangerous if left untreated.
Causes of Diarrhea
Diarrhea may be caused by several conditions and diseases, as well as diet choices. Common causes of diarrhea include:
Certain viruses can cause diarrhea including Norwalk virus and viral hepatitis.
Bacterial infections or parasites
Consuming contaminated food or water may transmit foreign bacteria and parasites into your body, causing diarrhea. Use caution when traveling in foreign countries as your body may not be used to microbes in the water.
Dairy products (including milk, ice cream, butter, ice cream) include a compound called lactose. Many adults experience lactose intolerance, an inability to properly digest these products. This may lead to diarrhea, cramping, and gas pain. Luckily, symptoms should pass quickly as long as you stop consuming dairy products.
More severe causes of diarrhea may be chronic digestive disorders, which can cause frequent diarrhea. These disorders include Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach ulcers.
Diarrhea Treatment and Symptoms
Generally, diarrhea will not last for more than a few hours or days. The main concern for diarrhea is severe dehydration which can cause other serious health concerns and may even be fatal if you do not stay properly hydrated.
Symptoms of diarrhea
Diarrhea is generally defined by loose, watery stools and more frequent bowel movements. Here are more symptoms you may experience:
- Loose and/or watery stool
- Blood present in stool
- Mucus in stool
- Abdominal cramping
- Severe bloating
- Urgent and frequent need to use the restroom
The main concern when experiencing diarrhea is becoming dehydrated as you lose a significant amount of water in your body with each bowel movement. Drink clear liquids such as water and broth throughout the day to stay hydrated. You may also consider drinking sports drinks to replace electrolytes, salt, and potassium that you may be losing.
Eat low-fiber foods that will be easy on your digestive tract. These mainly include bananas, applesauce, toast, rice, potatoes, yogurt, and chicken. You don’t want to make your diarrhea or gas pain worse, so avoid eating fatty or fried foods, raw vegetables, spicy food, or caffeinated drinks.
When You Need to Visit Urgent Care
Usually, diarrhea will subside on its own within a few days. However, if symptoms last for more than a few days and treatment doesn’t seem to be helping, it may be time to visit urgent care and see a doctor.
Here are a few signs that you need to visit an Urgent Care center:
- Diarrhea has persisted for more than a few days
- You become dehydrated
- You are experiencing severe abdominal or rectal pain
- Your stool is bloody or dark black in color
- You are experiencing a fever of above 102 F or 39 C
Children are even more susceptible to diarrhea symptoms. Younger patients can quickly become dehydrated when experiencing diarrhea. Seek treatment as soon as possible if your young child shows signs of being dehydrated, has a fever above 102? (39?), or has black or bloody still.
Las Vegas Urgent Care Provides the Diarrhea Treatment You Need
Urgent Care services provide knowledgeable and caring treatment for diarrhea. We will review all your symptoms and make sure we give you the medication, advice, and treatment you need. If you are experiencing acute diarrhea, visit our medical professionals at Las Vegas Urgent Care.