Diarrhea Questions & Answers

Updated: Oct 31, 2018
  • Author: Stefano Guandalini, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is diarrhea?

How are acute and chronic diarrhea defined?

What should be considered to determine the cause of diarrhea?

What are the signs and symptoms of diarrhea?

Which fecal lab studies are performed in the workup of diarrhea?

What lab studies are performed in the workup of diarrhea?

How is diarrhea treated?

Which drugs are used to treat diarrhea?

How is acute diarrhea defined?

What causes acute diarrhea in children and what is the most common complication of acute diarrhea?

Is acute gastroenteritis synonymous with acute diarrhea?

How are diarrheal episodes characterized?

What is the pathogenesis of diarrhea?

What is the pathophysiology of osmotic diarrhea?

What is the pathophysiology of secretory diarrhea?

What is the incidence of diarrhea in the US?

What is the global incidence of diarrhea?

What is the mortality and morbidity from diarrhea?

Does the incidence of diarrhea vary among males and females?

Does the incidence of diarrhea vary among age groups?

Presentation

What is the clinical presentation and disease course of acute diarrhea?

What is the incidence of acute diarrhea?

How is diarrhea defined in children?

What does flatulence associated with foul-smelling stools suggest?

What can be helpful in determining whether the source of diarrhea is from the small or large bowel?

What are the systemic symptoms of diarrhea?

Which organisms may increase the risk of diarrhea in daycare settings?

How can food history be helpful in the diagnosis of diarrhea and which organisms cause food poisoning?

How does water exposure increase the risk of diarrhea?

Why is travel history important in suspected diarrhea?

How does animal exposure increase the risk for diarrhea?

Which factors predispose patients to infectious causes of diarrhea?

Which physical findings suggest dehydration in patients with diarrhea?

What is the presentation of failure to thrive and malnutrition in children with diarrhea?

How is abdominal pain characterized in patients with diarrhea?

What is the presentation of borborygmi in patients with diarrhea?

What is the presentation of perianal erythema in patients with diarrhea?

What is the most common cause for sporadic or endemic episodes of acute diarrhea?

What are possible causes of acute onset diarrhea?

What are infectious causes of acute diarrhea in developed countries?

Which pathogens cause pediatric nosocomial diarrhea?

DDX

What are the differential diagnoses for Diarrhea?

Workup

Which findings suggest carbohydrate intolerance in patients with diarrhea?

Which findings suggest an enteroinvasive infectious cause of diarrhea?

What should be examined in the workup of diarrhea and what finding suggests colitis?

What is the role of culture in the workup of diarrhea?

What should prompt additional screening for Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection in the workup of diarrhea?

What should prompt additional screening for E coli in the workup of diarrhea?

What should prompt additional screening for Vibrio and Plesiomonas infections in the workup of diarrhea?

Which culture mediums are used to isolate bacteria in the workup of diarrhea?

Which test is performed to identify rotavirus infection in the workup of diarrhea?

Which test is performed to identify adenovirus in the workup of diarrhea?

How are parasitic causes of diarrhea identified?

When is leukocytosis present in diarrhea?

What does a finding of protein-losing enteropathy suggest in the workup of diarrhea?

What is the role of an anion gap test in the workup of diarrhea?

When are procedures performed in the workup of diarrhea?

Treatment

What are the CDC recommendations for the evaluation of acute pediatric diarrhea?

What are the CDC recommendations in the treatment of dehydration due to diarrhea?

What is oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for diarrhea and how is it administered?

What has been added to oral rehydration therapy (ORT) to improve effectiveness in treating diarrhea in developing countries?

Which beverages may be effective in the treatment of diarrhea?

When can feeding be resumed in children with diarrhea?

What is the role of antimotility and antimicrobial therapy for diarrhea?

What are the treatment options for nonviral diarrhea?

When should consultations be considered for patients with diarrhea?

How should infants with acute diarrhea be fed?

What diet is suggested in the treatment of diarrhea?

Medications

What is the best option for treatment of acute-onset diarrhea?

Which antimicrobial agents are used in the treatment of diarrhea?

What is the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of diarrhea?

Which medications in the drug class Vaccines are used in the treatment of Diarrhea?

Which medications in the drug class Antibiotic and antiparasitics agents are used in the treatment of Diarrhea?