Diarrhea is watery and loose stool three or more times a day. Most cases of diarrhea are acute, beginning suddenly and lasting a couple of days before resolving. It is a common medical complaint and is usually not harmful. However, some cases of diarrhea are due to serious conditions.
The experienced doctors at Dignity Health want to see you right away for these serious diarrhea symptoms in Southern California:
- Black and tar-like stool, which is a sign of bleeding from your digestive tract
- Blood or pus in your stool
- Diarrhea lasting more than two days
- High fever
- Severe abdominal pain
- Signs of dehydration
If you require emergency services in one of our emergency rooms (ER), a dedicated team of doctors and nurses is available to diagnose and treat you at our urgent care centers and hospital locations.
You may feel more comfortable waiting at home until the ER doctor can see you. Use InQuicker to select an estimated arrival time at one of our convenient locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and Inland Empire cities San Bernardino, Fontana, and Highland.
Investigating What Causes Diarrhea
The main cause of acute and constant diarrhea is a viral infection. The medical term is viral gastroenteritis, commonly known as stomach flu. You can become infected with stomach flu viruses from ingesting contaminated food or water. Careful handwashing and sanitary food preparation are the two best methods to prevent diarrhea.
Other causes of diarrhea we see at Dignity Health Southern California include bacterial infections, such as Salmonella food poisoning, and parasitic infections, such as giardia (giardiasis).
Effective Diarrhea Treatment at Dignity Health Southern California
Our doctors at Dignity Health Southern California are adept at diagnosing infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea. Your doctor may order blood tests to confirm a diagnosis.
We treat bacterial and parasitic infections with antibiotics and other medicines. Although these medicines do not work on viral causes of diarrhea, your immune system normally fights off the stomach virus within a few days. Your doctor can recommend other appropriate treatments.
Diarrhea can become serious if it causes dehydration. You can help prevent dehydration by drinking extra fluids and replacing electrolytes. If necessary, we will admit you to the hospital for more intensive treatment, such as intravenous fluids.
Find a Doctor today to learn more about Dignity Health Southern California emergency services and other specialized medical services we offer our communities.
Dignity Health doctors provide expert diagnosis and medical care for diarrhea in Southern California.