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I've had diarrhea for 7...
I've had diarrhea for 7 days and have had stomach cramps -mild to severe as well. Other than this I feel perfect. No fever, no vomiting etc. Perfect. I went to a clinic on Friday and he said it is likely a stomach bug and gave me a requisition for a stool sample, which I handed in today. Is this likely a parasite given the term? The cramping is less now, but the diarrhea is more frequent.
A parasite infestation IS an infection. Infection is a broad term indicating that the actual causative organism can be a bacterium, virus or a parasite. So, when we say infection we mean it can be any one of the three. Now in your case this seems like a low grade bacterial infection rather than a parasite infestation. Of courseOf course, I can be wrong because this is a diagnosis which can only be made on tests (stool and blood). Regardless of the causative organism most diarrheal episodes are treated with metronidazole and ciprofloxacin both for a period of 5-7 days. For your information, a stool test which shows, WBCs - indicates a bacterial infection Eggs - indicates parasites (the type depends on the egg) So in short I think this a bacterial infection but we can only know for sure after your tests come back. In the meantime, hydrating yourself is very important and keeping your electrolytes in the normal range is also very important. Try using the BRAT diet which comprises of Bananas (good source of potassium), Rice, Applesauce and toast. I hope this helps.
If this is a bacterial or parasitic infection, it’s unlikely that it will resolve on its own. However, viral infections do resolve on their own but 7 days into the symptoms, a viral infection should show signs of settling down instead of flaring up as it did in your case this morning with 12 episodes. So it’s more likely to a bacterial or parasitic infection rather than a viral infection, so it’s not likely to settle on its own.
I think you are thinking of doing the right thing, continuous diarrhea with this frequency and intensity can cause several problems and the tests don't take a long time. You should definitely go to a ER now and do tell them that it has now been 8 days with intense diarrhea.Now I'm worried about the fact that you don't suffer from electrolyte imbalances or dehydration which can lead to kidney damage. Those two conditions can be life threatening. Considering your history and symptomatology, if i was in place of the ER doc i would have prescribed antibiotics and i do believe the ER doc would do so if required depending on your clinical exam.
If I say I know that he will definitely prescribe the antibiotics i would be lying, the normal way to go about this is to get a stool sample first and then think of start antibiotics BUT it all depends on the doctor, many of us get the sample and start the antibiotics in the meantime and if the sample comes back negative we stop the drugs otherwise have the patient continue them.So it all depends on the doctor who is treating you but i am glad to hear that you are taking care of your hydration levels.
So, if the doctor today decides to wait for the results, which won't be till late this week or early next, can I load up on Imodium so I can enjoy the race this weekend? I haven't taken any yet during this bout. Also, how will alcohol affect me?
A stool sample usually takes 1 day that is the routine examination but the culture can take 3 days or more depending on the culture medium and the conditions under which it is grown, which would mean yes it could be until late this week.What you can do to enjoy the grand prix is that take two Imodium before going to the venue to watch the race and that should keep you okay for the next 4-6 hours at least, taking a couple of Imodium off and on isn't harmful, yes taking it regularly for the whole time you have diarrhea that is a problem (considering this is infectious diarrhea).Alcohol per se won't actually worsen the diarrhea but alcohol due to its dehydrating qualities can cause you become dehydrated quickly especially if you take large quantities along with uncontrolled diarrhea. This can be problematic. Secondly, excessive quantities of alcohol have been known to cause diarrhea on its known due to its effects on the gastrointestinal tract and its motility. So it's best to abstain from alcohol during this time period.
My plan was to take some Imodium, bring a cooler with a few beers and a couple Gatorades and water. I was going to go on a 2 beer, 1 water rotation, and throw in a Gatorade once or twice during the day. I am not planning on getting trashed by any means. We have been planning this weekend for two years and I want to enjoy it as much as possible, while being smart about it. As much as possible I guess while drinking beer and taking Imodium. Do you know if the antibiotics are prescribed, can they be taken with alcohol, and how long do they take to start working?
The antibiotics take at least a couple of days to start working and most antibiotics shouldn't be taken with alcohol because that interferes with their metabolism. Alcohol induces the liver enzymes and since most antibiotics are metabolized by the liver in some part that would increase their metabolism and decrease their efficacy.I can understand that you have been planning to enjoy this weekend for a long time and this puts a damper on your plans but it would be best to abstain from alcohol until your symptoms subside, it's possible that by this weekend your symptoms start to settle down with treatment. But until they do my sincere advice would be to abstain from alcohol, even beer. It's good to know that you are concerned and aware about your health.
I went to the emergency room yesterday and was told that they don't usually treat bacterial infections, that most people get over them on their own, and that antibiotics sometimes make things worse. I was told to go on a clear liquid diet for 48 hours, and that this would stop the diarrhea and reset my bowel. So, I thought, after 8 days, the advice was to starve myself. I went to another clinic right after and was given a Cipro prescription. I started it last night. Both doctors yesterday told me the BRAT diet can make things worse and told me to eat normally, but to avoid all dairy until a couple days after I feel better. So I had pasta for dinner, Gatorade, some chips to a movie I watched with some diet 7-UP. Woke up this morning and had a solid experience on the toilet. HOORAY!. Now, do I keep taking the Cipro after 1 pill? How long till I go back to a fully normal diet i.e. coffee, alcohol etc.? Thank you. You have been so helpful.