A diarrhea that is more than two weeks is considered as chronic. In a healthy individual, chronic diarrhea may not be a very serious problem. However, for someone who has a very weak immune system response, having this kind of diarrhea can be a life threatening situation. There are a lot of underlying causes of chronic diarrhea; it is different from children. It can be classified if the diarrhea is brought about by any kind of infection. The main cause of chronic diarrhea is sometimes hard to determine. A diarrhea that is caused by an infection may result from a parasite, a bacterium, and a certain kind of virus.
There is some chronic diarrhea thatís not cause by any types of bacteria or parasite. Disorder of the pancreas like pancreatic enzyme deficiency may cause chronic diarrhea. Food intolerance and food additives may show the same result to some who has it.
A chronic diarrhea can be detected by a medical history and physical examinations. Although this condition can be difficult to detect, doctorís can always find a way to know the truth behind chronic diarrhea. The type of test will depend on the severity and symptoms of your diarrhea. These tests may include blood and stool test. Stool culture may be used to determine the type of bacteria in your stool. Generally, about three or more stool sample are collected to be examined carefully.
Special kind of test may require detecting some other forms of parasites. If any of these initial tests failed to determine the main cause of the diarrhea, another test may be done, including x-ray and endoscopy. It is a special procedure in which a tube is inserted inside the mouth so that the doctor may see the intestine form the inside. A gastroenterologist can perform this kind of procedure.
The risk factor of having chronic diarrhea largely depends on age and health status of an individual. Chronic diarrhea especially to children and older person can result in serious nutritional disorder such as malnutrition. People with HIV/AIDS and those people going through chemotherapy can be at risk for chronic diarrhea. It is necessary to determine the exact cause of the chronic diarrhea in order to provide the correct treatment and to lessen the risk of a serious complication.
The treatment of chronic diarrhea is generally determined by its cause. Infectious diarrhea can be treated by antibiotics. However, proper diagnosis is needed to formulate the correct medication. A diarrhea that is cause by any infection is much harder to treat and determine. Long term medical attention and nutritional support is needed. Surgery is sometimes done to treat some causes of chronic diarrhea.
Always remain well hydrated to prevent serious dehydration. Serious health condition may occur if our body is not properly hydrated. It may worsen the condition and may require a quick hospitalization if dehydration happens. Avoiding caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks can be helpful. Limiting your alcohol intake can also provide you with a better health.