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Diarrhoea

Dr. John Hsiang, Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist

What Is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is a common health condition that affects people of all ages. It is characterised by frequent passing of loose or watery stools, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating.

There are two types of diarrhoea: acute and chronic.

Acute diarrhoea usually lasts for a few days and is caused by viral or bacterial infections, food intolerance or allergies, and certain medications. Chronic diarrhoea, on the other hand, lasts more than two weeks and is often a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

What are the Symptoms of Diarrhoea?

Apart from frequent loose stools, other symptoms of diarrhoea may include:

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is a Gastroscopy?

A Gastroscopy, also known as an Upper GI Endoscopy, is a procedure to examine the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).

It is done by having a gastroscope safely inserted through the mouth and maneuvered by your Doctor.

A gastroscope is a flexible tube with a camera attached to it. This gives your Doctor an internal view of your upper digestive system to detect abnormalities such as polyps, ulcers, inflammation, or cancerous growths along the mucosal lining.

If your Doctor discovers these issues during an examination, they can remove any polyps or tissues to be sampled for further investigation.

What Are The Causes of Diarrhoea?

Various factors can cause diarrhoea, including:

When Is It Time To Visit a Doctor?

While most acute diarrhoea can be treated at home with fluids and rest, it is important to seek medical attention if:

Why See a Gastro Doctor?

When it comes to chronic diarrhoea, it is crucial to consult a gastroenterologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Gastroenterologists are medical specialists with extensive training and expertise in treating digestive disorders.

A gastro doctor will perform a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and medical history, as well as order diagnostic tests, such as stool analysis and colonoscopy, to determine the underlying cause of your diarrhoea. They can also provide personalised treatment plans to help manage chronic diarrhoea and improve your digestive health.

What happens during your procedure

Usually, a Gastroscopy is done while you are asleep due to the sedatives that will be administered to you. An anesthetic will also be sprayed into your throat to numb your swallowing sensation.

You will be placed on your side and given to wear a mouth guard to prevent yourself from biting on the scope. With the necessary preparations in place, your Doctor will proceed with the gastroscopy examination.

The whole procedure should take about 10 to 15 minutes and you should be discharged within the same day. You will be advised not to drive or operate machinery for the day due to the drowsiness you may feel from the sedatives.

How Can Diarrhoea Be Treated?

The treatment for diarrhoea depends on its underlying cause. For acute diarrhoea, the primary goal is to keep the body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and consuming electrolyte solutions. Over-the-counter medications, such as loperamide, may also help reduce diarrhoea.

For chronic diarrhoea, it is important to address the underlying medical condition. This may involve changes in diet, medications, or other medical interventions.

Preventing diarrhoea is also crucial in maintaining overall health and well-being. Some preventive measures include practising good hygiene habits, such as proper hand-washing, avoiding contaminated food and water, and getting vaccinated against certain infections that can cause diarrhoea.

How To Relieve Diarrhoea

In addition to seeking medical treatment, there are also some home remedies that may help relieve diarrhoea symptoms:

However, it is important to note that home remedies should not replace proper medical treatment and consultation with a healthcare professional. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dr. John Hsiang

MBChB (NZ), FRACP (Australasia), MD (Doctorate), FRCP (Edinburgh), FAMS (Gastro)

Dr. John Hsiang is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience in public and private practice.

Dr. John’s special clinical interests are in gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach conditions, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal cancer screening

Dr. John has spent more than five years in the Singhealth cluster serving in the Gastroenterology Department at Changi General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.

Clinical interests:

Indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, helicobacter pylori infection, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, hepatitis B, fatty liver disease, management of abnormal liver tests.

Dedicated Insurance Support

We understand that navigating the financial aspect of healthcare can be overwhelming. We welcome all patients with or without insurance and can assist with claims regardless of your personal or corporate insurance plan.

Here at Richmond Gastroenterology Centre, we strive to ensure the most efficient claims process for our patients. To that end, our team works diligently with their insurers to obtain Letters of Guarantee and pre-authorization certificates prior to any procedures.

Make an appointment to consult our Doctor.

We understand your anxieties and we are here to support you throughout your health journey. If you have questions or would like to seek a 2nd opinion, send us your message via the form below.

To get an immediate response, you may also call us at: 6517 9958

Dr. John Hsiang is an Accredited Specialist Across All Private Hospitals in Singapore.