Ask The Expert
February 15, 2013
There are many possible causes of loose stools. To help you better, I would first need to know the following:
Feeling unwell, waking up at night to move your bowels or the presence of blood or mucous in the stool are symptoms of something that could be serious, such as colitis. Any of these symptoms is a reason to immediately make an appointment with your doctor.
But if you have none of those symptoms, you can first try to make changes in your diet. People can develop lactose intolerance later in life. So I would suggest a short trial of eliminating milk-based products.
If that doesnt help, take in less of wheat and other dietary sources of gluten. People with celiac disease need to completely avoid gluten. But doctors recently recognized that many people that dont have celiac disease have gluten sensitivity.
If dietary changes dont help, then you should see your doctor to discuss your symptoms. He or she will want to:
I would not suggest starting any over-the-counter anti-diarrheal products until you have seen your doctor.