Constipation, diarrhea & stool abnormalities are all common indicators of numerous gastrointestinal conditions such as:
These may also be symptoms of other diseases not related to the gastrointestinal tract and its functions.
Normally categorized as having fewer than three bowel movements per week, constipation is the difficult passage of stool, which becomes hard and dry after moving too slowly through the digestive tract. It is a common condition that can occur acutely or chronically. When diagnosed as chronic, treatment becomes dependent on treating the underlying cause.
Chronic constipation may be caused by issues including:
Diarrhea is loose and watery stools that happen more frequently than usual and may be accompanied by abdominal cramps. An acute case of diarrhea only lasts for a few days, whereas chronic diarrhea lingers for a period exceeding three weeks. Chronic diarrhea may also be an indication of a more serious disorder.
Acute diarrhea is generally caused by a bacterial, parasitic or viral infection but may also be caused by:
Bloody stool suggests a bleed somewhere in the digestive tract, which begins at the mouth and ends at the rectum. While in some cases blood in the stool may only be detected through a procedure known as a fecal occult test, other times it may be visible after wiping or in the toilet.
The blood may also vary on color depending on where the bleeding is occurring; the higher in the digestive tract the blood is, the darker and thicker the blood excreted becomes.
Bloody stool may be the result of conditions such as:
Recommendations to relieve constipation may include:
Suggested treatments for diarrhea may include:
In order to effectively treat stool abnormalities, the condition causing it must be treated.
To stop acute bleeding, an endoscopy may be performed to locate the bleed and inject chemicals, treat the bleed with a laser or apply a band or clip. An angiography may also be done to inject medicines into the blood vessels to control the bleed.
Once the immediate bleeding has been stopped, treatments to prevent future bleeding may include:
For more information on one of these conditions or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.