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Frequent bowel movements in infant

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My 11 months old son is having frequent bowel movements, about 5 times a day, since 26th January. the consistency is soft, only 3 instances of runny stools. he is teething. a routine culture of stool showed traces of mucus, 1-2/ hpf pus cells, and everything else is negative. i am giving him sips of ORS, and BRAT diet. but still he is passing soft stool after every meal. he takes formula now. do i give him any medicine, and what else can i feed him apart from BRAT?also can i continue giving him his vitamins like arbivit3 and bevon drops?

Category: Pediatrician

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Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
 19 Doctors Online

Dear parent,

Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

Your description of the symptomatology is accurate. There does not seem to be any significant cause for worry. This kind of symptom complex can be due to a prominent gastrocolic reflex. The diarrhea appears to be non - infective. The stool test is also not suggesting any serious infection.

You can give him normal diet containing easily digestible food. Give him plenty of fluids/ORS. At this stage, he does not appear to be requiring any antibiotic therapy. If the loose stools persist or become more problematic, you could consider consulting a pediatric Gastroenterologist. But so far everything looks fine. These symptomatology is not unusual in children of this age group. 99% this should resolve with out any complications.

Hope your son gets well soon.
Feel free to ask followups / clarifications.

Dr. Saptharishi

Patient replied :

Thank you for your time and the reply. please suggest a suitable diet plan for my 11 month old son. I am not sure about what food items he can digest easily at this point. he was regularly having fish and chicken and vegetables and fruits and i am worried that with the BRAT diet he will not be getting adequate nutrients.
Thanks in advance.

Dear parent,
There is no diet that has been proven to be beneficial in the settings of diarrhea. However, certain food substances are easily digestible. These include mashed cereals, milk (but not too much of it, as there can be a degree of lactose intolerance during acute diarrheal illness), yoghurt (contains beneficial bacteria, acting as a probiotic), fruits and mashed vegetables, etc. Better to avoid non vegetarian food that is rich in protein.

Having said that, I would concede that there are no standard guidelines for diet during diarrhea. Most people recommend normal diet. These are my preferences, that I have shared with you.

Hope this helps, would be glad to answer any follow-ups.

Patient replied :

Hello doctor.
My son has developed fever since last evening alternating between 100 & 101 F. He is very week and less active than normal and tearful. also passed runny stool again once. urine is normal. what to do? Local paed only prescribed crocin drops and asked to wait till 3 days. but i am very worried especially because normally he is very active and plays runs around all the time. but now he is falling down, wants to be carried all the time. please help.

Dear parent
Almost all gastroenteritis caused by viruses can have fever. Presence of fever need not be of serious concern as long as it is not associated with
1. Blood or frank strands of mucus in stools
2. High grade fever persisting beyond three days
3. Sick looking child with lethargy even during afebrile intervals
4. Poor oral intake, decreased urine output or frank features of dehydration

If your child develops any of these four problems, then visit your nearest pediatric emergency. Then he may require antibiotics, IV rehydration or admission. Hope your son recovers soon. Till then continuing supportive care, adequate oral rehydration and antipyretics would be the best option.

Dr. Saptharishi L G
Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
Senior Residency: DM,  Pediatric Critical Care, PGIMER

Residency: MD, Pediatrics, Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 2013

Internship: JIPMER, 2009

Medical School: MBBS, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, 2008
Dr. Saptharishi L G and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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