Diarhea for Too Long of a Time

Updated on June 06, 2014
L.J. asks from Austin, TX
10 answers

My daughter is 15 months and has had diarhea for 7 days, very bad, literally pooping water and constantly. I took her to the Dr. 2 days ago and they said it could be going with the ear infection she has had for a couple of months, that antibiotics will not work for, which we are waiting to see an ENT for. She has had no fever and the night before the loose BM's she vomitted 3 times but has not again. I would just like to know how long is too long for her to continue having this issue?

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answers from Dover on

I think it is too long already if nothing else is being done except waiting for the ENT.

With vomitting or diarhea, my doctors have always stopped all foods and all milk products...drinks like water, gatorade, kool-aid, pedialyte, flat sodas only. That should help. After a full day of this (and no vomitting), increase to other clear liquids like chicken broth. The next day add fruits (bananas, apples...). The next day you add vegetables. The next day dry cereals and rice. Then meats. And on day 7 milk can be reintroduced.

I will add that rarely did I wait a whole week with my daughter because she couldn't stand to be without milk but one time I had to because she was that bad.

It could be because of the ear infection but if her system is irritated, the milk will not help.

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answers from Washington DC on

Emergency room now, today, for rehydration by IV and testing for foodborne illnesses including E. coli and salmonella, which can be extremely dangerous to young children. Not tomorrow, not next week, today. This may not be "her gut got irritated" but could be a very serious bug. Or a basic virus. You will not know unless you get her seen and tested as soon as you can. E. coli and salmonella can shut down a young child's kidneys and look just like a typical stomach virus at first.

Even if it's a basic virus that is running its course, and not something potentially grave like E. coli, she is very likely dehydrated and needs rehydration beyond giving her water and Pedialyte. She may need rehydration into her bloodstream and not what you can get into her orally. Get her seen and find out.

Better to have her checked and be told she's clear of the worst bugs and just has a virus than to wait and find out it was something serious.

Ear infections causing a solid week of diarrhea? Never heard of that or experienced it. Did your doctor think to check her for any causes other than "it's the ear infection'? or just dash that off and send you away?

Our pediatricans took dehydration so seriously that when our daughter, at three, was vomiting for a day and half, they had us go for IV rehydration and testing for foodborne and other illnesses, just in case. You have seven days of diarrhea here. Our pediatricians would have already told you to go to the hospital or an urgent care center affiliated with one.

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answers from Louisville on

As a nurse, I think a second opinion is warranted, particularly if her diarrhea is truly that watery and not just loose. I'd either go to the ER or urgent care, if this were my child. Dehydration in a child that young is nothing to fool with, and if she's vomiting, too, you won't be able to compensate for her losses with oral intake.

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answers from Boston on

I'm as concerned about an ear infection for a couple of months as I am about diarrhea for 7 days. Something is not right about this child's immune system. I work in food science and immune system boosting, and it does seem she is unable to get into balance. I'm not sure why antibiotics don't work for her and why you can't get in to see an ENT yet, but it's also possible that a lot of antibiotics have upset her intestinal balance so much that she's got this new problem. The vomiting can be a reaction to medication, or to a lot of post nasal drip (perhaps related to the ear infection and whatever else is going on in that area, such as a sinus infection, which can also relate to diarrhea). If she is teething on top of this, it's going to be difficult to sort it all out.

Meantime, she's not absorbing nutrition. Her gut is out of balance and probably inflamed. If she's insufficiently nourished, there can be vomiting associated with it (a similar thing happens in pregnant women who have such morning sickness they can't eat at all, then they vomit all the time).

I'd put her on the BRAT diet right now, in very very small doses. I'd give popsicles with a little real sugar in them (such as those fruit juice bars) or make my own, and I'd have her slurp on them throughout the day. Take her off dairy, put her on bananas, rice, applesauce & toast, perhaps try a small amount of peanut butter in very small amounts but frequently. There's an excellent children's supplement with very high absorption and a natural anti-inflammatory that can boost immunity and settle down that inflamed digestive system. It may help with the persistent ear infection as well.

I wouldn't wait for all these appointments, frankly. I'd be taking action at home and not be going to the doctor or thinking about the ER. All you're going to get is long waits, some talk about antibiotics (which they say won't work or which may have contributed to the problem), or some talk that her problems is viral and they can't do anything about it.

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answers from Dallas on

Too long. Not an ear infection, could be the antibiotics if you are still giving them. Augmentin is bad about that.

Probably a viral infection and contagious. My youngest had that kind of virus for about 14 days. Poor thing! A type of roto virus. Keep her bum clean and let it air a bit if you can. Otherwise, some diapercream. Lots of fluids like sweet tea, water, pediolyte and yogurt, soft foods, Popsicles. Ask your doc again.

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answers from Norfolk on

7 days is nothing.
Our pediatrician once told me that once a gut gets irritated it can sometimes stay irritated for a long time after the initial source of irritation has resolved itself.
Our son was about the same age as your daughter when he had diarrhea and it went on for - I'm not kidding you - 8 WEEKS before it finally went away.
You just have to keep the fluids up so they don't get dehydrated and watch the electrolyte balance (use lot's of Pedialyte) and eventually it will go away but you have to be patient.
Of course a secondary issue is the horrendous diaper rash that goes with it.
Change diapers frequently, and try to air out their bottom.
Use your favorite butt grease and use liquid Mylanta on the bottom to help fight the acidity.
Set a towel down in a dry bathtub and let them play bare bottomed with you right next to them, etc.
You'll get through it!

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answers from Beaumont on

I would go to a Children's Hospital. That situation can get dangerous FAST.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd not be listening to that doc. Either they didn't understand what she's doing or they don't care.

I guess if you are giving her pedialyte to offset the fluid loss then it might be okay but I would think she'd need to be in the hospital with IV meds and fluids going in.

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answers from Sacramento on

Did the doctor rule out rotavirus? Our son had that when he was two and he had horrible diarrhea for two weeks.



answers from Philadelphia on

If she is constantly going as you say, you will need to keep a close eye on her for dehydration which is a medical emergency. My daughter has had diarrhea for 2 weeks straight twice in her life now but she would go about 2x's per day not constantly. Hope your daughter feels better soon.

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