Occasional diarrhea and constipation are common, but frequent or chronic bouts of these symptoms may indicate a more serious underlying medical condition. At Lower Manhattan Gastroenterology in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, gastroenterologists Mihaela Galica Vladutiu, MD and Karim Sayad, MD can evaluate your overall health to determine the cause of your diarrhea and constipation issues. If diarrhea and constipation are interfering with your life, call Lower Manhattan Gastroenterology or book an appointment online today.
Diarrhea refers to loose, watery stools that happen three times per day or more.
Acute diarrhea usually lasts one or two days and goes away on its own. But diarrhea that’s persistent or chronic may be more of a problem. Persistent diarrhea lasts two to four weeks, while chronic diarrhea lasts four weeks or more.
Diarrhea can lead to dangerous complications, such as dehydration and malabsorption. Dehydration happens when your body doesn’t have enough fluids or electrolytes to function properly, and malabsorption means your body isn’t absorbing enough nutrients from food.
Constipation involves having stools that are hard, dry, and difficult to pass during bowel movements. If you’re constipated, you may have fewer than three bowel movements per week.
Most cases of constipation last a short time and aren’t dangerous, but chronic constipation can lead to complications, including:
Many different factors can cause chronic or persistent diarrhea and constipation. Sometimes, these conditions are symptoms of an underlying medical problem, such as:
The team at Lower Manhattan Gastroenterology cares about your total health, which is why they look for the cause of your diarrhea and constipation instead of merely prescribing medications that treat the symptoms.
To diagnose your condition, Dr. Vladutiu or Dr. Sayad begin with a review of your symptoms and medical history. They perform a comprehensive physical exam, which may include the following tests:
Once they determine the cause of your constipation and diarrhea, your doctor will recommend the best treatment to address your needs. This may include making changes to your diet and lifestyle or taking medications and probiotics.
If you’re concerned about diarrhea and constipation, call Lower Manhattan Gastroenterology or schedule an appointment online today.