Chronic Diarrhea Causes

Chronic Diarrhea Causes

Chronic diarrhea, also called persistent diarrhea, can affect people of all age groups and usually lasts for over two weeks. Though it is not considered particularly life threatening, it can turn out to be quite fatal for those with a weak immune system.

Chronic diarrhea is generally caused due to the presence of viruses, parasites and bacteria in contaminated food and water, mainly Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, E Coli, Salmonella, rotavirus, Entamoeba histolytica, viral hepatitis and herpes.

If an infection is not the cause, then chronic diarrhea may happen due to several other factors, like Crohn's disease or irritable bowel disease. Even medications like antibiotics, cancer drugs, antidepressants can cause chronic diarrhea, and so can food allergies or intolerances. Those suffering from diseases that weaken the body’s immunity, like HIV/AIDS, are also susceptible to chronic diarrhea.

In cases where the correct cause for this disorder cannot be determined, proper treatment becomes quite difficult. Doctors usually perform a thorough physical examination and ask for lab test results so that they are able to find out the exact cause of chronic diarrhea. In case the lab tests are not able to throw light on the causes, further tests like an endoscopy or x rays may be required.

Once the doctor has been able to diagnose the right cause for chronic diarrhea, he will prescribe the necessary treatment, like medications in case of an infection or a surgical procedure it the condition is more complicated. Proper hydration and a balanced diet that excludes foods that trigger off symptoms of diarrhea are also recommended.

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Chronic Diarrhea Causes