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Treat diarrhea or let it run its course?


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#1 BamaTanya

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:38 AM

I try to be conservative with medications, but I'm not sure in this case.

Little bit awoke to vomiting yesterday morning. She hasn't vomited since then, but she's had pretty regular diarrhea and a fever that comes and goes.

She's drinking Gatorade, ice water, iced tea, and Coke . . . whatever she asks for besides milk. She's eaten a few crackers and pretzels.

I finally gave her fever medication last night to help her sleep. The fever broke immediately.

However, the diarrhea awoke her (us) twice with accidents in the bed. :tongue_smilie:

This morning she's up and happy -- a little pale -- (obviously feeling some better), but there's some blood. I think it's just because her bottom is so raw . . .

I feel like I need to stop the diarrhea somehow so she can get a good rest and her bottom can heal. Or should I give it more time to run its course?

What do you think? Can she still get dehydrated if she's constantly drinking?

Poor thing. She just asked for pizza! I'm thinking that's a bad idea for today ...

ETA: She's 6 and 46 lbs, if that makes a difference.

#2 SailorMom

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:40 AM

Noramlly - as long as she is staying hydrated, you should try to let it run its course (the bad stuff needs to get out).

I would be concerned about the blood. It very well could be just irritation - but it can also be a sign of a very serious problem that has to be treated asap.

Don't give her meds - take her to the doc.

#3 zenjenn

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:50 AM

I used to believe in letting things run their course, but I had a doctor tell me a few years ago that there's no reason to continue to allow diarrhea - after the initial purging, nothing is getting out so much as an upset GI system is still irritated and just generally not behaving in a healthy manner. Medication should be used and mild foods consumed to give the GI system a chance to rest & recover and so that the body's immune system can do its thing without being stressed by rapid fluid loss. Diarrhea is very dehydrating and when severe can cause the body to lose water faster than it can be absorbed.

So, I've treated diarrhea ever since and I must say it has equated to a happier, more comfortable family that recovers more quickly from these illnesses. I've never had to use Imodium for more than a few doses, whereas when I've let things run their course it can mean much longer (days) of gastrointestinal upset.

That said, I agree if there is ANY chance the blood you saw is from the stool and not from bleeding sores on the skin, I'd get her in to a doctor ASAP. Also, Imodium, IIRC, is not recommended for children under 6. (And I know you mentioned your child is not under 6 but just throwing it out there in case anyone else reads this.)

Edited by zenjenn, 29 August 2011 - 07:56 AM.


#4 Lily_Grace

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

We treat diarrhea with yogurt. The active cultures in it help to rebalance the gut bacteria. I get the drinkable kind and special flavors for the kid who isn't feeling well.

#5 Parrothead

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:00 AM

Treat it. No sense in being miserable for an extended period of time. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration very quickly in children. Why chance it?

#6 LidiyaDawn

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:29 AM

I've never really understood the "let things run their course" stuff… I know that when I'm sick I sure don't want to lay around feeling horrible - I want to treat my sickness and feel better! I'd give her something - whatever docs approve of for the butt flu in kids. [can you call and get your doc's advice?]

#7 Tammyla

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:33 AM

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

#8 Jewish Mama of 4

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:20 AM

My children are 2, 5, & 7 and for any of them (when they have diarrhea) I mix banana's, rice cereal (powered infant rice cereal), and vanilla yogurt. It tastes yummy and gets rid of the diarrhea the same day -- that is the only thing they eat that day. Just have them eat as much of it as they want all day. It is very binding. No medicine needed :)

#9 Teachin'Mine

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

For a different perspective, I've usually found that wanting to eat - her request for pizza - is a good sign that it's probably already run its course. I would probably start out with a more benign food, but I'd give food a go first. If the diarrhea continued, then I'd seek medical help.

#10 naturalhomestead

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:12 AM

We love RECHARGE (like gatorade but with natural sugar from juices) when we are sick and need to stay hydrated. Other then drinking that and eating healthy foods we don't do anything else.

#11 jen3kids

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:20 AM

My older ds has something similar - vomited and had diarrhea, then seemed fine but tired for the rest of the day. He was tired looking the next day, but wanted to do stuff so he went biking and ate b-day cake and pizza. The diarrhea returned with a vengeance. I guess his gut wasn't ready for that!

Today he's on a strict bland diet - banana, bagels, chicken broth, rice, probiotic yogurt, and lots of water/gatorade. I'm hoping that does the trick because he starts school tomorrow!!! I will likely get him some imodium, although I prefer to use more natural methods, because no high school freshmen wants to have diarrhea. Nothing rich for a few days until he has a regular bm.

#12 Impish

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:35 AM

Noramlly - as long as she is staying hydrated, you should try to let it run its course (the bad stuff needs to get out).

I would be concerned about the blood. It very well could be just irritation - but it can also be a sign of a very serious problem that has to be treated asap.

Don't give her meds - take her to the doc.

:iagree:
I was at the hospital last wk for dehydration after a cpl of days of this. The OB on call told me that she thought it best for it to run itself out (no pun intended) rather than try and treat it other than the rehydrating.

#13 chepyl

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:18 PM

Eat a spoonfull of nutmeg. It tastes bad and you have to wash it down with water, but it works! It puts and almost immediate stop to diarrhea with one spoon. Sometimes you need a second dose a few hours later, bit I have only ever taken one.

#14 TracyR

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:25 PM

You can treat it with the BRAT diet. Bananas , Rice, Applesauce and Toast (white bread).. Those are 'constipating' foods. If she's done with the vomitting I would go ahead and treat.
You can also keep her hydrated with pedialyte popsicles, or coconut water(much more hydrating then Gatorade, Pedialyte combined and much better for you too).
It sounds like she may have a rotavirus. I would hold off any milk products though because that can really irritate the bowel.
You could try a probiotic like Culturelle to give her more of the 'good bacteria' too. But I'd stay away from yogurt until you got the diarreaha under control.

#15 Tiramisu

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 04:58 PM

If there's blood, I'd call the doctor/ped.

I had what I thought was a stomach bug but started with blood on the third day. My doctor thought it could have been from...overuse...but decided to test a sample just in case and it turned out to be caused by a bacterial infection that needed to be treated.

I hope your little one feels better soon. :grouphug:

#16 BamaTanya

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:25 PM

and he saw her at 10:30. He prescribed no meds but reinforced the "no milk, no fruit juice" and "keep her hydrated." They're running lab tests for rotavirus, salmonella, and something else I didn't catch because he was concerned about the blood, too. The tests apparently take a day or two for results. And, if it's a virus, he said it could be several days before the course is run. He wants me to watch for signs of dehydration, but she's looking pretty good. Almost energetic. Definitely wanting to be back to normal.
I picked up the rice cereal and bananas at the grocery store and it seems she's visiting the restroom less frequently . . .
Thanks for all the advice. I'm keeping it tucked away for next time.


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