Risk Factors For Bacterial Gastroenteritis
If you have a weakened immune system because of an existing condition or treatment, you may have a higher risk of bacterial gastroenteritis. The risk also increases if you take drugs that decrease your stomachs acidity.
Handling food incorrectly can also raise your risk of bacterial gastroenteritis. Food thats undercooked, stored too long at room temperature, or not reheated well can aid in the spread and survival of bacteria.
Bacteria can produce harmful substances known as toxins. These toxins can remain even after reheating food.
. To find out which type of bacteria is causing your infection, you may be asked to provide a stool sample for analysis.
Your doctor may also take a blood sample to check for dehydration.
What Do You Take If You Have Diarrhea
over-the-counter medicationOver-the-counter optionsImodiumPepto-BismolKaopectateFoods to avoid while experiencing diarrhea include:
- milk and dairy products
- fried, fatty, greasy foods.
- processed foods, especially those with additive foods.
- pork and veal.
These foods have insoluble fiber:
- The skins of fruit.
- Potato skin
- Whole wheat, wheat bran, and whole-grain cereal products.
- Brown rice.
When To Contact A Clinician
Persistent or severe abdominal pain, especially if unrelieved by vomiting or passing a bowel movement
Fever greater than 101 degrees F, not relieved by acetaminophen, or any fever that lasts more than three days
Vomiting or diarrhea without any improvement for more 24 hours
Blood in vomit or stools
No urination for more than 8 hours, or painful urination
Recommended Reading: Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Everything I Eat
When To Call The Doctor
If you experience symptoms for more than a week, its wise to make a doctors appointment. However, if you have severe symptoms at any point throughout, it is also a good idea to be seen. Other symptoms that warrant a doctor visit include high fever, nausea and vomiting, confusion, difficulty speaking, vision problems, rapid heart rate, and seizures. While the most common symptoms of diarrhea and stomach problems are flu, food reactions, medications, stress, alcohol consumption, IBD, and IBS, these conditions can also be indicative of cancer, cystic fibrosis, appendicitis, or intestinal obstruction. If you have persistent symptoms, its best to be safe and be seen.
If you need to see a doctor for diarrhea and abdominal pain, or you are experiencing other GI upset, book an appointment at Carolina Digestive today.
How Can I Prevent Amebiasis
Proper sanitation is the key to avoiding amebiasis. As a general rule, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before handling food.
If youre traveling to places where the infection is common, follow this regimen when preparing and eating food:
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Avoid eating fruits or vegetables unless you wash and peel them yourself.
- Use bottled water and soft drinks from sealed containers.
- If you must drink tap water, boil it for at least 1 minute, or use a store-bought absolute 1 micron filter and add disinfecting chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or iodine tablets to the filtered water.
- Avoid ice cubes or fountain drinks.
- Avoid peeled fresh fruit or vegetables.
- Avoid milk, cheese, or other unpasteurized dairy products.
- Avoid food sold by street vendors.
Don’t Miss: What Exercise Is Good To Lose Your Stomach
What To Do If Youre Experiencing Chronic Stomach Pain Or Diarrhea
Stomach pain and diarrhea are often short-lived and require no special treatment.
However, there is a long list of medical conditions and medications that can cause GI symptoms to last for weeks.
These include infections, inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities or allergies, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, stress and anxiety, and medications like NSAIDs and antibiotics.
Because there are many different reasons for chronic stomach pain and diarrhea, its important to check with a healthcare provider to detect an underlying cause.
Knowing the root of your symptoms will lead to an effective treatment and some much needed relief.
About Joe Leech, Dietitian
Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.
He graduated with a Bachelors degree in exercise science, followed by a Masters degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.
Learn more about him on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
Abdominal Pain And Stomach Cramps
It is normal to have abdominal pain from time-to-time, caused by gas, stomach bugs, or even food poisoning. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing abdominal pain that you would describe as intense, crampy, and the pain doesnt go away in a day or two, or has been present on and off for weeks or longer, its time to see a healthcare provider to find out whats wrong.
Also Check: How To Lose Weight In Your Legs And Stomach
When In Doubt About Your Abdominal Symptoms Physicians Say Its Best To Call Your Doctor Or Head To The Er
The egg salad didn’t taste quite right, but you were hungry. Or maybe your craving for cheesecake overrode the punishment you knew your lactose intolerance would inflict. You expect stomach distress in situations like these, but other times, abdominal pain can come out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s severe enough or lasts for so long that you know it’s not simply a matter of eating something that didn’t agree with you.
Digestive system issues account for 51 million visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The severity of the pain, its location within your abdominal area, and accompanying symptoms may provide clues to the origin of the pain and whether or not you should seek help immediately. Here are some of the most common signs your tummy troubles need more than an over-the-counter remedy.
Signs Of Passing A Kidney Stone
David Cameron, DO, an emergency medicine physician at Medical City Lewisville and Medical City McKinney, says that you will know immediately if you are passing a kidney stone, with pain in the side of your back or abdomen.
This is the worst pain of your life that you’re experiencing, Dr. Cameron says. It’s so profound that it’s beyond a 10. You’ll be incapacitated with the pain, quite often. It’ll lead to nausea and vomiting, the pain is so severe.
You May Like: Does Advil Help With Stomach Pain
Common Medications That Can Cause Constant Diarrhea:
- Antibiotics: Any type of antibiotic can kill the beneficial bacteria inside your colon.
- Some anti-diabetes medications: Metformin and gliptins can cause diarrhea and stomach gurgling.
- Laxative overuse.
- Stomach/GERD medications: PPIs and H2 blocker inhibit stomach acid. This inhibition will allow for the overgrowth of bacteria inside the small intestine and colon causing stomach gurgling and diarrhea.
- Others such as chemotherapy, immunosuppressive medications can also cause such conditions.
Bloody Bowel Movements Or Blood On Toilet Paper
There is nothing scarier than going to the bathroom and seeing blood in the toilet or on the toilet paper. Bloody bowel movements or blood on toilet paper can be caused by several things, including anal fissures , hemorrhoids , and other GI conditions, including IBD. If you are experiencing blood with bowel movements, you should schedule a visit to a gastroenterologist.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Lines
How Is Ibs Diagnosed
See your doctor if you think you may have IBS. Your doctor will ask you questions about your health, ask about your symptoms, and examine you. He or she may even perform a rectal exam. There are no tests that can show for sure that you have IBS.
Your doctor may also perform medical tests to rule out other diseases if you have red flag symptoms such as:
Medical tests include a colonoscopy . The doctor looks inside the large intestine by inserting a scope with a tiny camera to spot inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. People over age 50 with IBS symptoms should also have a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, even if they don’t have any “red flag” symptoms.
A doctor may also perform a blood test to check for celiac disease if you have certain types of IBS. These types are IBS-D or IBS-M . A doctor may also check for celiac disease if you have bloating or pass a lot of gas.
Lactose intolerance may also be a concern for some people, and can be checked with a breath test.
Chronic Stomach Pain And Diarrhea: What Are The Main Causes
Most of us have experienced a short episode of stomach pain or diarrhea at some point in our lives.
But for some there is nothing short or fleeting about these symptoms.
Chronic stomach pain impacts 2% of adults, while approximately 5% of adults suffer from chronic diarrhea.
This article looks into the most typical causes of these conditions and when its necessary to seek medical attention.
Read Also: Why Is My Stomach Gurgling
What Causes Mild To Moderate Abdominal Pain
Most Australians will experience mild or moderate abdominal pain from time to time. Often these episodes last only a few hours or days. They may clear up without the need for treatment. However, you may be more comfortable managing the symptoms with medicines from your pharmacy or doctor.
Some of the causes of short-term abdominal pain are:
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your specific symptoms, the location of pain and when it occurs will help your provider detect the cause.
LOCATION OF YOUR PAIN
- Where do you feel the pain?
- Is it all over or in one spot?
- Does the pain move into your back, groin, or down your legs?
TYPE AND INTENSITY OF YOUR PAIN
- Is the pain severe, sharp, or cramping?
- Do you have it all the time, or does it come and go?
- Does the pain wake you up at night?
HISTORY OF YOUR PAIN
- Have you had similar pain in the past? How long has each episode lasted?
- When does the pain occur? For example, after meals or during menstruation?
- What makes the pain worse? For example, eating, stress, or lying down?
- What makes the pain better? For example, drinking milk, having a bowel movement, or taking an antacid?
- What medicines are you taking?
OTHER MEDICAL HISTORY
- Have you had a recent injury?
- Are you pregnant?
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Hair From Growing On Your Stomach
Causes Of Abdominal Pain And Diarrhea In Pregnant People
Pregnant people are especially prone to abdominal pain and diarrhea. One common reason is that many people make changes to their diet when they find out theyre pregnant. This can cause digestive trouble.
If youre pregnant, you may also start having sensitivities to particular foods. This can include foods you eat on a regular basis, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea. On top of that, hormone changes in your reproductive system that occur during pregnancy may also cause these symptoms.
Seek medical help if youre having abdominal pain and diarrhea that last for 3 days, if the pain grows increasingly worse over a 24-hour period, or if its accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- frequent nausea or vomiting
- a sustained fever of 101°F for adults or 100.4°F for children
- stool that contains blood or dried blood, which looks like wet coffee grounds
- an inability to keep food down
- extreme thirst or dry mouth
- an inability to speak or see
- mental confusion or loss of consciousness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- swelling of the genitals
- external bleeding
Diarrhea can be more dangerous for infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. In these cases, discuss symptoms with a doctor.
If you dont have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Is Acute Appendicitis A Severe Condition
The appendix is a small, fingerlike tube attached to the large intestine in the lower right part of the abdomen. Experts still haven’t determined the function of the appendix, as it is not required for typical body processes.
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. It is the most common cause of acute abdominal pain for which people need surgery. Appendicitis most often occurs in people between the ages of 10 and 20 years old, but it can occur at any time.
If appendicitis is caught early, it does not have to be a severe condition. However, if it is unrecognized, the inflammation will worsen. When this occurs, people can develop complications that can lead to severe consequences or death.
Recommended Reading: How To Soothe Baby Stomach Ache
Causes Of Acute Stomach Pain
- Eating Too Much. Eating too much can cause an upset stomach and mild stomach pain.
- Hunger Pains. Younger children may complain of stomach pain when they are hungry.
- GI Virus . A GI virus can cause stomach cramps as well as vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Food Poisoning. This causes sudden vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the bad food. It is caused by toxins from germs growing in foods left out too long. Most often, symptoms go away in less than 24 hours. It often can be treated at home without the need for medical care.
- Constipation. The need to pass a stool may cause cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Strep Throat. A strep throat infection causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever.
- Bladder Infection. Bladder infections usually present with painful urination, urgency and bad smelling urine. Sometimes the only symptom is pain in the lower abdomen.
- Appendicitis . Suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child won’t hop and wants to lie still.
- Intussusception . Sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years.
When To See Your Doctor
Even severe diarrhea usually resolves itself in a few days without medical treatment. But in some situations, its important to see your doctor to avoid serious complications. The following scenarios should definitely prompt you to seek medical help:
- You are suffering from diarrhea for over two days
- You are dehydrated
- You have blood or pus in your stool
- Your stool is black
- You have a fever of 38.6 °C or higher
- You experience severe pain in your abdomen or rectum
- You have diarrhea at night.
Recommended Reading: What Medications Reduce Stomach Acid
Urgent Advice: Speak To Your Gp As Soon As Possible If:
- you have severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s concentrated in one area
- the pain starts suddenly or unexpectedly
If your GP is closed, phone 111.
Serious causes of sudden severe abdominal pain include:
- appendicitis the swelling of the appendix means your appendix will need to be removed
- a bleeding or perforated stomach ulcer
- acute cholecystitis inflammation of the gallbladder, which may need to be removed
- kidney stones small stones may be passed out in your urine, but larger stones may block the kidney tubes, and you’ll need to go to hospital to have them broken up
- diverticulitis inflammation of the small pouches in the bowel that sometimes requires treatment with antibiotics in hospital
If your GP suspects you have one of these conditions, they may refer you to hospital immediately.
Sudden and severe pain in your abdomen can also sometimes be caused by an infection of the stomach and bowel . It may also be caused by a pulled muscle in your abdomen or by an injury.
Sudden Severe Stomach Pain: Benign Form Of Colitis
Another inflammatory disorder that can cause these symptoms is microscopic colitis. Like ulcerative colitis and Crohns, this is an inflammatory bowel disease, but its far more benign.
You can have it and not even know it, depending on the frequency of the diarrhea and how normal it looks.
One of the key features of microscopic colitis is that the diarrhea may be nocturnal.
I have MC , and one time in the middle of the night, I was awakened by a lower abdominal cramp and the urge to have a bowel movement.
Once I sat on the toilet, I was overcome with severe lower abdominal painnot the typical pain you feel when you have a lot of hard BMs to void. It was so intense I felt nauseous.
And then the diarrhea came , and poof, the pain was gone! This was a one-time flare, unrelated to previous food intake.
Chronic abdominal pain, urgency and diarrhea including fecal incontinence is frequently caused by diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, says Dr. Good.
Dr. Good has additional expertise in the diagnosis/treatment of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease, and is extremely proactive in genetic testing, individualization of pharmacologic treatment, and risk mitigation in cancer screening/prevention. Concierge Choice Physicians
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Stomach Tight After Pregnancy
When Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency
Stomach pain can have many causes. Most of them aren’t serious, but some are, and you need to be able to recognize their warning signs.
If you rest, avoid certain foods, take medication, or use a heating pad, you may get relief from some kinds of pain. For others, you may need urgent medical care.
This article explains which symptoms mean you should head to the ER. It also lists symptoms that mean you should visit your healthcare provider. Finally, it provides some at-home solutions to try.
Verywell / JR Bee