Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Tests and procedures used to determine what's causing your diarrhea may include:
- Physical exam. Your doctor may examine your abdomen to determine the location of any abdominal pain. Your doctor may also listen to your abdomen with a stethoscope.
- Review of your medications. Your doctor may ask about any medications you're taking, including over-the-counter drugs. Also, tell your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Blood test. A complete blood count test may help determine what's causing your diarrhea.
- Stool test. Your doctor may recommend a stool test to determine whether a bacterium or parasite is causing your diarrhea.
- Schiller LR, et al. Diarrhea. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisinger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/book/player/linkTo?type=bookHome&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&uniq=200844987-3. Accessed May 12, 2010.
- Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea. Accessed May 13, 2010.
- Understanding food allergies and intolerances. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/wmspage.cfm?parml=5679. Accessed May 14, 2010.
- Surawicz CM, et al. Diarrheal diseases. American College of Gastroenterology. http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/gihealth/diarrheal.asp. Accessed May 13, 2010.
- Nutrition therapy for diarrhea. ADA Nutrition Care Manual. http://nutritioncaremanual.org/index.cfm. Accessed May 13, 2010.
- Guarino A, et al. Probiotics as prevention and treatment for diarrhea. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 2008;25:18.
- An introduction to probiotics. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics. Accessed May 14, 2010.
- Wash your hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing. Accessed May 14, 2010.
- Basics for handling food safely. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Basics_for_Handling_Food_Safely/index.asp. Accessed May 14, 2010.