Diarrhea and constipation are common gastrointestinal symptoms that affect almost everyone at some point during their life. However, if your diarrhea or constipation is a chronic problem, you may have an underlying gastrointestinal condition. Experienced board-certified gastroenterologist Chintamaneni Choudari, MD, provides state-of-the-art care and treatment at Hagerstown Gastroenterology. To schedule a consultation to get the answers you need, call the office in Hagerstown, Maryland, or book online today.
Diarrhea and constipation are symptoms that involve the gastrointestinal system. They’re both common and affect most people at some point in time.
Diarrhea causes loose, watery stools. In addition to changes in your stools, you may also experience abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, and/or vomiting.
If you have three or fewer bowel movements a week, then you suffer from constipation. In addition to a decrease in frequency, your stool may also be dry and difficult to pass.
Diarrhea may develop from a number of causes. The type of diarrhea you have may play a role in determining the underlying cause. Types include:
Your diarrhea is considered acute if it lasts two weeks or less. Common causes of acute diarrhea include food poisoning and gastroenteritis (viral or bacterial).
With persistent diarrhea, you may experience loose, watery stools for 2-4 weeks. You may experience persistent diarrhea from a viral or bacterial gastrointestinal infection, as well as traveler’s diarrhea.
If your diarrhea lasts more than four weeks, you have chronic diarrhea. Common causes of chronic diarrhea include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease.
You may develop constipation from a number of causes. Common causes include:
Your constipation may also be a symptom of an underlying gastrointestinal condition such as a bowel obstruction or IBS.
You can expect a thorough evaluation when you come in to see Dr. Choudari to get help for your diarrhea or constipation symptoms. During your exam, Dr. Choudari reviews your symptoms, usual diet and exercise habits, personal medical history, and family history.
He then performs a physical exam and may request diagnostic tests to better understand the cause of your symptoms, such as:
Based on the information gathered during your evaluation, Dr. Choudari develops a personalized treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms, which may include a combination of lifestyle changes and/or medication.
To schedule an evaluation for your diarrhea or constipation symptoms, contact Hagerstown Gastroenterology by phone or book online today.