How Is Chronic Diarrhea Diagnosed?
90% of those with chronic diarrhea will have the cause diagnosed. A history of the timing and consistency of stool, as well as travel history and family history aid diagnosis.
Blood Tests Useful in Chronic Diarrhea
- Complete Blood Count: Will diagnose anemia and will indicate infection from the white blood cell (WBC) count
- Serum electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, etc
- Inflammatory Markers: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP)
- Functional assessment: Via total protein and albumin and thyroid function tests
- Serologic testing for celiac disease
Stool Test Useful in Chronic Diarrhea:
- Evaluation for occult blood
- Microscopic exam for parasites
- Stool cultures
- Sigmoidoscopy or Colonoscopy (preferred) with possible biopsies
- X-rays, abdominal CT, and/or MRI