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Most cases of diarrhoea get better within a week, and you may not need to visit your GP.
The information below explains what will happen if you need to see your GP.
Read about when to visit your GP if you have diarrhoea.
To identify what's causing your diarrhoea, your GP may ask you questions about:
Your GP may ask you for a stool sample so it can be analysed for signs of an infection if you have:
Find out how to collect and store a stool sample.
Your GP may suggest you have some blood tests if they suspect your diarrhoea is being caused by an underlying health condition.
For example, your blood can be tested for signs of inflammation, which may suggest inflammatory bowel disease.
Read more about the possible causes of diarrhoea.
Your GP may recommend a digital rectal examination (DRE) if you have unexplained persistent diarrhoea, particularly if you're over 50.
During a DRE, your GP will insert a gloved finger into your bottom to feel for any abnormalities. It can be useful for diagnosing conditions that affect your rectum and bowel.
If you have persistent diarrhoea and your GP is unable to find the cause, they may refer you to your local hospital for further investigation.
You may have: