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Diarrhea

At TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track, with over 15 locations across Tampa, FL, we often see patients experiencing the discomfort of diarrhea. This condition is characterized by the frequent excretion of loose, watery stools, often paired with a pressing need for a bowel movement. In our diverse Tampa community, it’s a prevalent issue with a multitude of potential causes. Let us provide you with some insights about diarrhea from our experienced medical team:

Causes:

  1. Infections: Viral (e.g., rotavirus, norovirus), bacterial (e.g., E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter), or parasitic (e.g., Giardia) infections are common causes, often acquired from contaminated food or water.
  2. Medications: Antibiotics, antacids containing magnesium, and some other drugs can lead to diarrhea.
  3. Food intolerance: Some people cannot digest certain ingredients, such as lactose in dairy or artificial sweeteners.
  4. Diseases of the intestines: Conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome can cause chronic diarrhea.
  5. Other diseases: Hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and some cancers can cause diarrhea.
  6. Surgery: Especially surgeries that affect the digestive system.
  7. Functional bowel disorders: These conditions cause the intestines to behave in an abnormal way but don’t have any structural defects.
  8. Traveler’s diarrhea: This is often due to consuming contaminated food or water.

Symptoms:

  • Loose, watery stools.
  • Frequent bowel movements.
  • Urgency.
  • Abdominal pain or cramps.
  • Fever.
  • Blood or mucus in the stool.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

Treatment:

  1. Rehydration: This is the primary treatment for diarrhea. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) can be particularly helpful.
  2. Dietary changes: Eating a bland diet (often referred to as the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) can help.
  3. Medications: Over-the-counter medicines like loperamide (Imodium) can reduce symptoms. But these shouldn’t be used for prolonged periods or if there’s a suspected infection. It’s also not appropriate for certain types of diarrhea.
  4. Probiotics: Some studies suggest that certain strains of probiotics can help treat or prevent diarrhea, especially when it’s caused by antibiotics.
  5. Treat underlying cause: For chronic or recurring diarrhea, it’s important to find and treat the underlying cause, which might involve medications, diet changes, or other therapies.

Prevention:

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  2. Drink and eat only in clean, reputable places.
  3. Cook foods to a safe temperature.
  4. Store food properly.
  5. If traveling to areas with a risk of contaminated food or water, be extra cautious about what you consume.

If you or someone you know is experiencing severe diarrhea, especially if it’s accompanied by signs of dehydration (like dark urine, dizziness, or rapid heartbeat), it’s important to seek medical attention. In children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, diarrhea can be particularly dangerous. If diarrhea persists for more than a few days or is recurrent, it’s also important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.

Frequently Asked Questions about Diarrhea

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about diarrhea:

Always consult with a healthcare professional regarding symptoms and treatments. The answers provided are for general informational purposes.

Offering Unrivaled Convenience

If you need prompt Diarrhea treatment, you don’t have to wait until your doctor has an appointment available. Our urgent care centers are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and no appointment is needed. Simply walk through our doors and our team will diagnose your condition and provide a treatment plan. And, if a prescription is needed, we’ll likely be able to fill it through our in-house pharmacy.

Get the comprehensive nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea treatment you need, when you need it! Contact TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track today if you would like additional information about the conditions we treat at our 15 plus walk in clinics throughout the Tampa, FL, area. If you’re planning to visit one of our locations, you can reduce your wait time once you arrive by signing in ahead of time using our On My Way system.

Our Sources & References:

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): The CDC offers comprehensive information on infectious diseases, including those causing diarrhea. You might look for publications on specific pathogens or general guidelines on hygiene.

Reference: CDC. “Diarrhea: Common Illness, Global Killer.” www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/disease/diarrheal.html

World Health Organization (WHO): The WHO has published a lot of information on diarrhea, particularly concerning its global impact and methods of prevention.

Reference: WHO. “Diarrhoeal disease.” www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diarrhoeal-disease

Mayo Clinic: A well-respected source of medical information that provides in-depth articles on a wide range of health topics, including diarrhea.

Reference: Mayo Clinic. “Diarrhea – Symptoms and causes.” www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diarrhea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352241

Medscape: Medscape offers a wealth of articles and clinical guidelines, many of which are written for healthcare professionals but can also be accessed by the general public.

Reference: Medscape. “Diarrhea Clinical Presentation.” www.medscape.com

National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH has multiple subsidiary organizations that publish research and guidelines on health conditions. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) offers information on digestive disorders, including diarrhea.

Reference: NIDDK. “Diarrhea.” www.niddk.nih.gov

UpToDate: This is a clinical decision support system used by many healthcare professionals. While much of its content is behind a paywall, they often provide patient-focused summaries for free.

Reference: UpToDate. “Patient education: Acute diarrhea in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

Remember, it’s always important to consult a healthcare professional at TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track at any of our 15 plus locations about personal medical concerns. These references are for informational purposes only.

Disclaimer:

The information presented in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as specific medical advice or practices endorsed by TGH Urgent Care. It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical advice. If you are currently experiencing a medical emergency, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention. We recommend visiting one of our nearest walk-in clinics, and to streamline your visit, we encourage you to utilize our convenient OnmyWay system, designed to save you time in line.

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Announcement

Commitment to Responsible Prescribing Practices

We are committed to responsible antibiotic prescribing practices. Our goal is to adequately treat infections while protecting our community from the harmful effects of antibiotic resistant infections. TGH Urgent Care has earned the Antibiotic Stewardship Commendation Award from the Urgent Care Association due to our ongoing commitment to this goal.

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