Why Diarrhea Can Actually Be A Good Thing

Diarrhea | Concorde Gastroenterology, NY

We all know—and dread—the signs of impending diarrhea. Abdominal cramps or pain, the urgent need to get to the restroom, bloating, loose watery stool, and nausea can all be signs that you are experiencing this very common GI condition. While experiencing diarrhea may seem like just a painful inconvenience, it turns out that it actually provides a very valuable service to the body.

What Causes Diarrhea?

Diarrhea has a number of common causes; most of them being fairly benign and short lived. The most common causes include a virus, bacteria, or parasites. Parasites and bacteria are generally carried through contaminated food or drinks and often trigger food poisoning, of which diarrhea is often associated. Some people experience the condition due to their diet, including ingesting food with lactose if they’re lactose intolerant, food high in fructose, or foods with artificial sweeteners. While diarrhea can be temporary and uncommon amongst many people, those who have chronic digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, colitis, celiac, or IBS may experience diarrhea more regularly.

What Useful Purpose Does Diarrhea Serve To The Body?

A recent study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital indicates that the presence of diarrhea actually does serve a useful purpose. When you experience diarrhea, it’s your body’s method of clearing out pathogens in the early stages of an infection. When your body clears out infections in this way it allows your body to heal more quickly.

While it might be tempting to visit a doctor as soon as you have diarrhea, it might not be necessary. If you’ve been experiencing it consistently for two days, you become dehydrated, have severe abdominal or rectal pain, see blood in your stool, or have a fever over 102, you should contact Concorde Gastro for a diagnosis to determine what is causing your condition. In the event that your child is experiencing diarrhea, a visit to the doctor is in order after 24 hours.

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