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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: 18 month old with diarrhea for 10 days


 worried&confused - Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:48 am

my 18 month old son has had diarrhea for 10 days stools are watery, at first we thought it was because he was cutting molars then thought maybe it was a virus but it has not resolved and last night he began vomiting small amounts. he has not been eating he will chew and spit it out. He has been drinking pedalite and gatorade for days now. low grade fever only at night. does not act sick up all day playing and laughing does not act like he is in pain.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:50 pm

Hello worried&confused,

Although you have likely taken your 18-month old son to the doctor if his problems haven't resolved, I'll address the issue, anyway, for others who may see your post. There are numerous possible causes for such symptoms, including viruses, bacterial infections, and fecal impactions. The most important thing about such episodes is that a small child can easily become dehydrated, and can rapidly develop an electrolyte imbalance; electrolytes include sodium, potassium, bicarbonate and chloride. A severe imbalance can result in dire consequences, or even death. Providing fluids with electrolytes, such as pedialyte is very helpful. Most pediatricians want to see the child if such symptoms have persisted longer than 3 days. Periods of not eating or being very "picky" can be part of a developmental phase, but vomiting isn't. When combined with other symptoms like chronic diarrhea, the safest approach is to have the child seen by his doctor. Children are very resilient, and do try to play even when ill. I hope this information is helpful to you, and that your son is on the road to recovery.

Good luck to you.
 Dr. Madhumita Paul - Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:22 pm

Hello,
The vomiting and fever suggest that there is infection involved. Although the child is active and shows no signs of lethargy, his symptoms should not be ignored.
Meet his pediatrician and get him thoroughly examined. He might need to get a stool culture and sensitivity test done which will throw more light in identifying the causative organism for the problem. Based on the test results, appropriate treatment can be started. Continue to give him fluids to help him keep hydrated.
Take care.

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