Diagnosis

Besides conducting a physical exam and reviewing your medications, your doctor might order tests to determine what's causing your diarrhea. They include:

  • Blood test. A complete blood count test can help determine what's causing your diarrhea.
  • Stool test. Your doctor might recommend a stool test to determine whether a bacterium or parasite is causing your diarrhea.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Your doctor might recommend one of these procedures to look at the lining of your colon and provide biopsies if no cause is evident for persistent diarrhea.

    Both procedures involve using a thin, lighted tube with a lens on the end to look inside your colon.

Oct. 25, 2016
References
  1. Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea. Accessed March 27, 2016.
  2. Diarrheal diseases: Acute and chronic. American College of Gastroenterology. http://patients.gi.org/topics/diarrhea-acute-and-chronic/. Accessed March 27, 2016.
  3. Fleisher GR. Evaluation of diarrhea in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 27, 2016.
  4. Managing diarrhea. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. http://www.iffgd.org/site/gi-disorders/functional-gi-disorders/diarrhea/management. Accessed March 27, 2016.
  5. Rotavirus vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/rotavirus/default.htm?s_cid=cs_074. Accessed March 29, 2016.
  6. Wash your hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing. Accessed March 27, 2016.
  7. Sartor RB. Probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 29, 2016.