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Sam Weissman, MD

Gastroenterologist located in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY

Diarrhea is more than just an inconvenience: it can also be a sign of a serious health issue. Many patients in Brooklyn, New York, turn to board-certified gastroenterologist Sam Weissman, MD, for expert diagnosis and treatment when they experience diarrhea and concerning bowel movements. To make an appointment, call the office in Brighton Beach or request a visit online today.

Diarrhea Q & A

What causes diarrhea?

Diarrhea, or loose, watery bowel movements, is a common condition that is not always a cause for concern. In fact, most Americans experience diarrhea at least once a year.

A number of different things can cause diarrhea, which can make it hard to know when the experience is normal and when to seek medical care. Common causes include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory bowel disorders
  • Bacteria or parasites present in contaminated food or water
  • Certain medications, especially antibiotics
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colitis
  • Celiac Disease
  • Thyroid problems

Other diseases of the stomach, small intestine, or colon can also cause chronic diarrhea, along with certain immune diseases. It's important to see an expert gastroenterologist like Dr. Weissman for a comprehensive evaluation and to understand the root cause of your diarrhea.

When should I seek care for diarrhea?

Most cases of diarrhea will improve in a few days with self-care efforts at home, like drinking plenty of fluids. However, if you notice you notice the following issues or experience diarrhea for more than four weeks, you should call Dr. Weissman to schedule a visit:

  • Weakness
  • Stools that are bloody or black
  • Fever of 102° or higher
  • Significant abdominal or rectal pain

These can be signs of a serious health issue and should be evaluated by a specialist in a timely manner.

What are some treatment options for diarrhea?

Dr. Weissman first evaluates you by determining the cause of your diarrhea. He may perform a physical exam, test a stool sample, and go over your health history, including any current medications.

Treatment depends on the source of the problem. Replacing lost fluids is a top priority, and you might need intravenous hydration to rebalance your fluids and electrolytes.

Certain medications can halt diarrhea – some slow the pace that food travels through your intestines, and others balance fluid levels throughout the digestive process.

Other medications work by treating an underlying infection. If your diarrhea returns, Dr. Weissman might put you on a restricted diet to try and figure out if certain foods are triggering your diarrhea.  

If you experience painful or recurring diarrhea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Weissman to determine the cause and begin a treatment path.