ZocdocAnswersHow to treat violent chronic diarrhea?

Question

How to treat violent chronic diarrhea?

I am 18 years old and for the past 2 years ive had what can be described as IBS. I am not obese nor underweight. Ive been to a gastroenterologoist before with not much answers besides just IBS. almost immediately after i eat anything i have violent stomach cramps and then have diarrhea. once ive even tried fasting but i would still have diarrhea after that. i also get yellow colored liquid in my stool almost every time i have diarrhea. if i even ever have a "normal" bowel movement its still very loose and its very pale and yellow tinted. im worried about my health and i dont think having diarrhea multiple times a day can be very healthy!

Answer

It sounds like this has been a very frustrating situation for you, and it is completely understandable that chronic diarrhea is very bothersome. The best place to start with these kinds of symptoms is with a gastroenterologist. If you are not happy with the relationship you have with the physician you have seen, then it is always acceptable to seek another opinion with someone else. Patients with IBS can have chronic diarrhea, but there are several symptoms that are not associated with IBS including blood or mucous in the stool, night time awakening with diarrhea, weight loss, fevers, or other systemic symptoms. In your case, your family history may be very important if, for example, there is a history of irritable bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis). The first place to start with evaluation of diarrhea is with stool cultures and stool studies. From there, it is important to discuss with your doctor whether or not other lab work might be helpful or possibly even evaluation with an endoscopy or colonoscopy. It would also be helpful for you to keep a journal of your symptoms as well as your food and activities on a given day. You may have lactose intolerance or celiac disease, and a change in your diet to avoid dairy or gluten could lead to significant improvement.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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