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Topic: Diarrhea, loose stools

  1. Fact Sheet: Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders of the Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Rectum, and Pelvic Floor


    By: William E. Whitehead, PhD

    The gastrointestinal tract is divided into four distinct parts that are separated by sphincter muscles; these four regions have distinctly different functions to perform and different patterns of motility (contractions). Abnormal motility or abnormal sensitivity in any part of the gastrointestinal tract can cause characteristic symptoms: food sticking, pain, or heartburn in the esophagus; nausea and vomiting in the stomach; pain and bloating in the small intestine; and pain, constipation, diarrhea, and incontinence in the colon and rectum.

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  2. Fact Sheet: Clostridium Difficile Infection


    By: Charalabos Pothoulakis, MD

    Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile (a gram-positive anaerobic bacterium), is now recognized as the major causative agent of colitis (inflammation of the colon) and diarrhea that may occur following antibiotic intake. C. difficile infection represents one of the most common hospital (nosocomial) infections around the world. A discussion of how it is transmitted, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

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  3. Fact Sheet: Bacteria and Foodborne Illness


    By: Information Adapted from the National Diseases Information Clearinghouse NIH

    Foodborne illness results from eating food contaminated with bacteria (or their toxins) or other pathogens such as parasites or viruses. The illnesses range from upset stomach to more serious symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. A discussion of causes, treatment, and prevention.

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  4. Fact Sheet: Difficult to Interpret Intestinal Complaints


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    Disorders of gastrointestinal function such as the irritable bowel syndrome or functional constipation, diarrhea, or bloating are characterized by no structural abnormality. In these cases, diagnosis depends entirely upon the history, and diagnostic tests, if needed at all, are done to rule out inflammations, tumors and other anatomic gut disease. Accurate diagnosis depends upon how accurately the individual describes his or her symptoms, and how skillfully the doctor interprets them. Reviewed and updated 2009.

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  5. Fact Sheet: Diarrhea (In Adults and Children)


    By: Information Adapted from the National Diseases Information Clearinghouse NIH

    Diarrhea - loose, watery stools occurring more than three times in one day - is a common problem that usually lasts a day or two and goes away on its own without any special treatment. However, prolonged diarrhea can be a sign of other problems. People with diarrhea may pass more than a quart of stool a day. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which means the body lacks enough fluid to function properly. Dehydration is particularly dangerous in children and the elderly, and it must be treated promptly to avoid serious health problems. Causes, treatment, and prevention are discussed. Revised and updated 2011.

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  6. Fact Sheet: Managing diarrhea


    By: W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

    This article considers how to manage the symptom of diarrhea until the underlying disease is brought under control, including dietary changes, over-the counter medications, and prescription medications. Reviewed and updated 2009.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  7. Fact Sheet: A Guide to Managing the Benefits and Risks of Medicines


    By: Information Adapted from FDA Publication FDA

    For many people, taking medication is a regular part of the daily routine, and these medicines are relied upon to treat disease and improve health. Although medicines can make you feel better and help you get well, it's important to know that all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, have risks as well as benefits.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  8. Fact Sheet: Nutrition Strategies for Managing Diarrhea


    By: Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, LDN

    In some people, chronic diarrhea may be controlled to some extent through diet and lifestyle factors. The role of diet including what foods and supplements may help, and what may produce loose stools, is discussed.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  9. Fact Sheet: Medical Procedure Costs and Surgical Rates in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome


    By: Alexandru Gaman, MD; Braden Kuo, MD

    Studies show that surgical rates in IBS patients are increased, even though there is no evidence the procedures are beneficial. Surgery is not a treatment for IBS. Yet IBS patients are exposed to more surgical procedures than the general population: the risk is 2–3 times higher for an IBS patient to have gallbladder surgery, appendectomy or hysterectomy; and 10 times higher for colon surgery. The lack of globally effective treatments and clear explanation of the symptoms in IBS contributes to increased utilization of diagnostic testing and predisposes the IBS patients to unnecessary surgical procedures. This fact sheet provides an overview of surgeries and risks in IBS patients.

    Non-Member Price: FREE View PDF
  10. Fact Sheet: Why Does Milk Bother Me?


    By: Information Adapted from the National Diseases Information Clearinghouse NIH

    Lactose intolerance means that you cannot digest foods with lactose in them. Lactose is the sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. This sheet reviews what you need to know about lactose intolerance.

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