Diarrhoea is a very common symptom and it isn’t usually anything to worry about. However, there are some cases when it is best to see a doctor for diarrhoea treatment.
The most common cause of diarrhoea is a short illness or food poisoning. The symptoms aren’t usually very severe and they usually go away within a couple of days. You might experience some cramping and bloating, nausea, vomiting or a fever alongside the diarrhoea.
It is important to stay hydrated and take care of yourself while you are ill. You should also try to stay home for an extra day or two after your symptoms clear up to prevent the spread of germs. If you notice any of the following signs you should see your doctor for diarrhoea treatment:
- You have had diarrhoea for more than two days and it isn’t getting better
- You are getting dehydrated, which may cause darker urine, less frequent urination, weakness, light-headedness, dry mouth and excessive thirst
- You see blood in your stools or they are black in colour
- You are in severe pain
- You are experiencing other severe symptoms, such as a very high fever
You might need to be prescribed antibiotics to clear an infection or admitted to hospital so you can be kept hydrated through a drip. The doctor might also want to run some tests to rule out any more serious problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer. Although these conditions are rare, they can sometimes be responsible for severe diarrhoea.
Most people will only experience diarrhoea briefly, during a short term illness. However, some of us can suffer from digestive problems that last longer. If your symptoms have been going on for several weeks or they keep coming back, it is a good idea to see a doctor. Various chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and food allergies can cause symptoms like diarrhoea. Long term diarrhoea could also be a sign of a condition like bowel cancer. The doctor can perform some tests to find out the cause and should be able to recommend dietary changes and diarrhoea treatments to relieve your symptoms.