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Diarrhea Santa Monica, CA

Most people have experienced the loose, watery bowel movements of diarrhea at some time in their lives. This common problem is one that usually resolves on its own after a few days. The condition could signal something more serious that requires urgent care if it lasts longer than a week or two.

Prolonged bouts of diarrhea can be caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Persistent infection or inflammatory bowel disease will also cause the condition to last for weeks.

Diarrhea can lead to dehydration; this is particularly true with young children and the elderly. When diarrhea lasts longer than a few days, and if it is accompanied by a fever of 102 F (39 C) or above, you need to see a doctor. Black or bloody stools and severe abdominal or rectal pain are also symptoms that need a doctor’s care. Young children should be seen if diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours with no improvement.

Your doctor will give you an examination and check your medical history and the medications and supplements you take. Certain tests may be ordered to determine the source of your diarrhea. Blood tests help determine the cause of the condition and testing the stool can identify any bacterium or parasite that may be causing the problem. In some cases, a colonoscopy may be ordered to check the colon.

If an infection or parasite is causing the problem, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. If a virus causes it, antibiotics will not help. Because dehydration can be a problem, your doctor will advise you to replace fluids and salts. Young children may drink Pedialyte to replace fluids and prevent dehydration. Older children and adults can drink plenty of water, juice or broth. IV fluids may need to be given if vomiting is a concern.

Causes of Diarrhea

Several things can cause diarrhea. Travelers can experience the condition by drinking contaminated water or eating food that has been rinsed with contaminated water. Certain medications, including some antibiotics, can cause diarrhea.

People who use artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol may experience loose stools. Fructose is a sugar that naturally occurs in fruit and honey. Lactose is a sugar present in milk and dairy products. Both of these sugars can cause diarrhea in people who have difficulty digesting them. People with lactose intolerance may find their intolerance increasing with age. After childhood, the level of the enzyme that aids in the digestion of lactose decreases.

Dr. Michael can help you identify the cause of prolonged bouts of diarrhea. If your condition is ongoing, contact our office to schedule an examination.

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM