Serenity Gastroenterology

Diarrhoea Treatment in Brisbane

What is diarrhoea?


Normally, your colon gradually condenses liquified food waste into a nice, sausage-shaped poo. If you’re experiencing persistent diarrhoea, it means something is going wrong in this process. Your colon isn’t absorbing water as it should or it’s making extra water leading to diarrhoea.

Diarrhoea means loose or watery bowel movements. It can create an urgent need, meaning you have to run to the nearest bathroom. You may also experience related symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating or nausea. You’re also at risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance because you’re losing water and salts each time you go to the toilet. It’s important to replace lost fluids.

Living with chronic diarrhoea can lower your quality of life, making you hesitant about going out and about in case you can’t get to a toilet in time. It can be embarrassing and upsetting.

There are several potential causes of chronic diarrhoea, including:
  • Diet – caffeine, alcohol, certain sugars or intolerances to lactose or gluten can result in diarrhoea
  • Medications – diarrhoea is a common side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Underlying conditions, including coeliac disease, hyperthyroidism, Tay Sachs, adrenal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or diverticulitis
  • Persistent infections such as a parasite or bacteria
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Side effects of radiation treatment
  • Cancer

To diagnose chronic diarrhoea, we start by talking to you. Everyone’s ‘normal’ bowel habits are different so we need to learn what is normal for you and what has changed. We’ll ask you many questions to identify when your diarrhoea strikes and what may trigger it. We’ll explore your medical history and note any medications. Every bit of information acts as a clue that helps us understand your experience of diarrhoea and work out how to address it.

Once we have all that information, we may order tests or recommend procedures to identify any underlying conditions or infections that may be causing your diarrhoea. That may include stool samples, blood tests, capsule endoscopy, gastroscopy or colonoscopy.

Treatment for chronic diarrhoea depends on what’s causing it. It may include:

  • Treating any underlying condition or infection that has been identified
  • Changing your diet to eliminate foods or drinks that trigger it
  • Increasing your fibre intake to slow down the formation of poo and make it more solid
  • Adjusting any medications that may trigger diarrhoea
  • Taking medications to ease diarrhoea.

How can Serenity Gastroenterology help?

At Serenity Gastroenterology we provide comprehensive and personalised assessment and management of diarrhoea.

We provide specialist consultation, gastroscopy, and colonoscopy as required.