Chronic diarrhea is a severe condition that is characterized by the occurrence of diarrheal episodes at least 3 times a day, over a fairly long period, even for two weeks. Usually, chronic diarrhea occurs in the background of other medical conditions that the child suffers from or poor nutrition. Even if it does not appear to be a serious illness, in the case of a weakened immune system, chronic diarrhea can endanger the life of the child. Here are the causes of chronic diarrhea and how to treat it!
Causes of chronic diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea is caused by a virus, bacterium or parasite. The most common causes of this disease in children are viruses. There are two viruses responsible for the onset of chronic diarrhea: norovirus (which causes stomach flu) and rotavirus (causes acute gastroenterica). There are also a number of diseases or illnesses that can trigger chronic diarrhea in young children:
- cystic fibrosis;
- chronic pancreatitis;
- irritable bowel syndrome;
- Crohn's disease;
- immunoglobulin deficient.
There are other risk factors that can trigger this chronic condition: medicines (laxatives or antibiotics) and foods (milk and soy protein products).
Symptoms of chronic diarrhea in children
Besides the fact that diarrheal episodes occur at least 3 times a day, several days or weeks in a row, they are accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms:
- abdominal cramps;
- blood traces in the scan.
Chronic diarrhea is not considered a contagious condition, but the child can become infected if it comes into contact with the saliva of an infected person (it is kissed on the mouth, the mouth held in the mouth of an infected child and then in his mouth, etc.).
Diagnosis of chronic diarrhea
In case you notice that the little one has diarrhea more than 3 days in a row, go to the doctor. He will give a physical consultation to the child, ask you more questions about his health, nutrition in the last days or the drug treatments he is following and will establish the diagnosis.
The doctor will also recommend performing a stool analysis, in which a sample from the child's faeces is analyzed in the laboratory, under a microscope, to determine the presence of the bacterium or other parasites or germs that led to the infection.
Treatment of chronic diarrhea
The doctor will prescribe to the child an appropriate treatment depending on the cause that led to the chronic illness. If the chronic diarrhea appears against a bacterial infection, then the doctor will prescribe antibiotic treatment.
If chronic diarrhea is of viral origin or another parasite has triggered it, medications will only be recommended for symptom relief. Diarrhea will pass by itself.
The intense hydration of the child is an important measure to prevent the complications of this condition. Dehydration is a common side effect of diarrhea and can be extremely dangerous to your child's health. Fatty foods, fiber, caffeine or milk should be excluded from the baby's diet, which may worsen the condition.
Has your child ever suffered from chronic diarrhea? Tell us how you helped him recover more easily, in the comment section below!
Tags Children's diarrhea Children's nutrition