Diarrhea in children
Diarrhea is the body’s way of ridding itself of germs and most episodes last a few days to a week.Diarrhea in children is more or less like in adults when stools becomes loose and watery. The main risk is lack of fluid in the body (dehydration). The main treatment is to give your child lot of water to drink. It could be done by giving special rehydration drinks. Also encourage your child to eat as normally as you can.
Diarrhea in children may be of two types –
• Short-term (Acute)
Diarrhea that lasts 1 or 2 days and goes away. This maybe caused by food or water that was contaminated by bacteria or it may happen if your child gets sick from a virus.
• Long-term (Chronic)
Diarrhea that lasts for a few weeks. This may be caused by another health problem such as irritable bowel syndrome. It may be caused by another health problem such as irritable bowel syndrome. It can also be caused by an intestinal disease such as Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.
▪︎Symptoms can be different in every child. There includes –
• abdominal pain
• loss of body fluids
• urgent need to use the washroom
• bloody stools
Severe diarrhea may be a sign of serious disease.
▪︎Symptoms of dehydration in children include –
• Passing little urine
• Dry mouth
• Dry tongue and lips
• Sunken eyes
• Fewer tears when crying
• Being irritable or lacking in energy
▪︎Symptoms of severe dehydration in children include –
• Cold hands or feet
• Pale or mottled skin
• Fast but shallow breathing
• Very few wet nappies
▪︎Infection of the gut (gastroenteritis) is the common cause of diarrhea –
• A virus is the common cause of infective diarrhea.Various viruses are easily spread from person to person by close contact, or when an infected person prepares food for others.For example Rotavirus, adenovirus
• Food poisoning (eating food infected with germs called microbes) causes some cases of diarrhea. Food poisoning infection is usually caused by a germ called a bacterium. Common examples are species of bacteria called Camphylobacter, Salmonella & Escherichia coli. Poisons produced by bacteria can also cause food poisoning. Another group of microbes called parasites can also be a cause of food poisoning.
• Water contaminated by bacteria or other germs in another common cause of infective diarrhea, particularly in countries with poor sanitation.
▪︎Non infectious cause of sudden-onset (acute) diarrhea are uncommon in children. eg. inflammation of the gut (colitis), food intolerance.Toddler’s diarrhea is a common cause of persistent (chronic) diarrhea in young children.
Risk Factors –
• Risk factors for infectious causes of diarrhea include travel to foreign countries, swimming in lakes and ponds, attendance at daycare, foster home and school as well as sick contacts at home.
• Recent antibiotic use can also put individuals at risk for developing diarrhea.
• Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease have been associated with Certain genes and families with first degree relatives.
• If the diarrhea is caused by a specific virus, bacteria or parasite, a test your child’s stool will show what the problem is.
• If the diarrhea in chronic, doctor might order some blood and stool test to look for the other undulying causes.
• Imaging test to rule out structural problems
• Tests to check for food intolerance or allergies
• Fluids –
The most important thing is to make sure that your child has enough to drink. Give your child small amounts to drink often, say in every 15 minutes. It’s best to use an oral rehydration solution (ORS) like Gastrolyte, Pedialyte, Hydralyte.
If you can’t get ORS, you can use diluted lemonade, cordial or fruit juice.
If you have a youy breastfed baby, keep breast feeding but feed more often.
You can give your child extra ORS between feeds.
• Food –
If your child is hungry, you can give him whatever he feels like eating. Don’t stop food for more then 23 hours.
• Additional treatments –
If your child is very dehydrated or can’t keep any arel fluids down, he might need fluids to be given directly into a vein through a drip or through a tube that goes up his nose and into his stomach.
If your Child is older and your doctor think it is caused by temporary lactose intolerance following gastroenteritis, the doctor might suggest your child swaps to a lactose -free milk until the diarrhea improves.
The greatest complication of diarrhea is dehydration.
Dehydration can be mild, moderate or severe.
Mild dehydration is the loss of fluid.
Moderate or severe dehydration puts stress on the heart and lungs.
In the worst cases, it can lead to shock, which is life- threatening.
Effective Herbs –
• Nutmeg (Jatiphala)
• Bel fruit
• Coconut water
• Balachaturbhadra Ras
• Gangadhar Churna
• Dhanya Panchak Kwatha
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