Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Tests and procedures used to determine what's causing your diarrhea may include:
- Physical exam. You'll have your temperature measured to check for a fever. Your blood pressure and pulse may also be measured to check for signs of dehydration. Your doctor may also examine your abdomen for abdominal pain.
- 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.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Understanding food allergies and intolerances. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/diet-medications/food-allergies-fructose-intolerance-and-lactose-intolerance. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Ochoa B, et al. Diarrheal diseases — acute and chronic. American College of Gastroenterology. http://patients.gi.org/topics/diarrhea-acute-and-chronic/#tabs2. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Nutrition therapy for diarrhea. ADA Nutrition Care Manual. http://nutritioncaremanual.org/index.cfm. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Sartor RB. Probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Wash your hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- 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 7, 2013.