Diarrhea in children

Written by Dr.Md.Redwanul Huq (Masum)
Monday, 16 January 2012 12:52

Definition of diarrhea:

It is characterized by an increased frequency and volume and decreased consistency of the stool from the normal state.

Classification (Types) of diarrhea:

Diarrhea can be classified as-

1. Acute watery diarrhea – acute onset, duration is less than 14 days, no passage of blood
2. Persistent diarrhea – it occurs when the duration of symptoms exceeds 7 days
3. Chronic diarrhea – it occurs when it lasts for more than 14 days.

Causes of watery diarrhea:

Causes of watery diarrhea are-

  1. Rota virus
  2. Vibrio cholerae
  3. Entero-toxigenic E. coli
  4. Salmonella
  5. Cryptosporidium
  6. Entero-pathogenic E. coli.

Differential diagnosis in children presenting with diarrhea:

  •  Primary GIT disease e.g. cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease etc
  • Surgical problems like intussusceptions, malrotation etc
  • Spurious diarrhea – faecal impaction with overflow
  • Infections outside GIT, e.g. meningitis, urinary tract infection etc
  • Immunodeficiency e.g. AIDS
  • Toddler’s diarrhea
  • Side-effects of medications e.g. antibiotics.

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