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Toddler with constant diarrhea

My 2 year old son has had diarrhea for 2 months.  I took him off of milk and his stools have improved, but still are loose.  His stool has been tested for bacteria infections.  That is not the problem.  He does not have any of the other symptoms for lactose intolerance.  Does anyone have any advice?  Thank you.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Read this & see if it rings any bells.  good luck

A Special Message To The Health Professional
William G. Crook M.D.
Dear Colleague:
Many infants and young children who come to your office are troubled by middle ear disorders.  While some children may have what appears to be a mild URI, they may complain to their mothers, "my ear hurts".  Other children come in with severe ear pain, fever and purulent discharge from their nasal passages.  A third group develop persistent serous otitis media and may show evidence of hearing loss.
Until recently, physicians were advised to treat most children's ear problems with repeated or prolonged courses of broad spectrum antibiotics.  The rationale: Eradicate or suppress the bacteria. When ear problems continued (especially when fluid persisted in the middle ear), tympanostomy tubes often helped.
During the first two decades after opening my pediatric office, my associates and I often performed myringotomies on children with persistent middle ear effusions.  Our ENT colleagues carried out adenoidectomies (and an occasional tonsillectomy) on many of our patients.  During the next two decades, fewer of these operations were performed and ore ear tubes were inserted.
In the mid 1950s, I developed an interest in food allergies and sensitivities.  This interest was was prompted by an observation of an alert mother who said "When my son drinks milk, he feels tired and develops dark circles under his eyes and a stopped up nose.  He also complains of headache, stomach-ache, and pains in his legs."
A short time later, I read an article in the Journal of Pediatrics and two articles in Pediatric Clinics of North America which provided me with additional information.  these articles described children with a diverse group of chronic symptoms who improved following the elimination of milk, wheat and other common foods from their diets.
After reading these articles I began using elimination/challenge diets on many of my patients.  I was both amazed and gratified when they improved.  I reported my observations at a meeting of the allergy Section at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Chicago in 1958.
In 1961, I published my findings on 50 of my chronic complaining patients in Pediatrics.  Their symptoms included fatigue, irritability, nasal congestion, short attention span, headache, stomachache and leg ache.  Some of these children had other complaints including bed-wetting and soiling.  All the children in my report improved when they avoided several of their common foods.  Milk led the list of offenders.
In the mid and late 1960s and early 1970s, I found that many of my patients with systemic and nervous system symptoms improved when they avoided sugar, food coloring, milk, wheat, corn and other common dietary ingredients.  I reported my observations to Amos Christie, my "chief" when I served a pediatric internship and assistant residency at Vanderbilt.  He said, "Billy, carry out a study, keep a careful record of your observations and report them."
I followed his advice and on January 1, 1973, I began keeping records on all of the new patients I saw in my practice with behavior and learning problems.  I continued to keep these records each year and completed my observations on December 1997.  There were 182 children in this series and I used sublingual food extracts and elimination/challenge diets in evaluating and treating them.  The parents of 136 of the children were absolutely certain that their child's nervous symptoms were caused by dietary ingredients and an average of 3 foods or food additives caused problems.
Here are questions which continue to interest and concern me:
Are sensitivities to common dietary ingredients affecting most American children with recurring ear problems and ADHD?
Should we be using fewer antibiotics   In treating children whose parents come into our offices saying "My child has been rubbing his ear."?
In treating children who, on examination, show fluid in the middle ear or a "red" ear?

Is there a relationship between repeated broad-spectrum antibiotics and recurrent ear problems?
Is there a relationship between repeated antibiotics, ear problems, ADHD, Autism and other behavior and learning problems?
In my opinion the answer is "Yes!" to all five of these questions.  Here's a brief summary to some of the evidence.
During the past 15 years, physicians in several foreign countries (especially the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) began to question the routine use of antibiotics in children with earaches.  In the mid and late 1990s, American physicians began to share these feelings about the appropriate therapy for children with ear problems.
During the last two decades, reports in the medical literature and the media document clearly that the numbers of children with ADHD have been increasing.  Yet, little attention has been paid to investigating the causes.  Instead, the major emphasis by most professions has been placed on stimulant medications (and related drugs), psychological and education care and "counseling".
An article published in Clinical Pediatrics in 1987 found that "the majority of the hyperactive patients who required stimulation medication had a history of more than ten otitis infections."  In summarizing their study, the authors said "(We) have found a correlation between an increasing number of otitis infections and the severity of hyperactivity when investigating a population of hyperactive and non-hyperactive children who exhibited failure in school.  Further investigation in necessary to evaluate etiologic aspects of this association."
In my opinion, here's an explanation: Repeated antibiotics cause alternations in gut flora, including proliferation of Candida albicans.  Overgrowth of this common yeast (and other microorganisms) disturbs the mucous membrane lining the digestive tract, producing what has been called "leaky gut".  Food antigens, endotoxins and enterotixins are then absorbed which adversely affect the child's nervous system.
Comments about the yeast connection:  In 1979, I learned from another patient about the observations of C. Orian Truss, M.D., and internist and allergist.  This Alabama physician reported in an obscure Canadian medical journal about mental and nervous symptoms which were caused by Candida albicans. Following his initial article published in 1978, Truss published a series of follow-up articles in the 1980s and a book in 1983.  In these publications, he described a diverse group of yeast-related health problems which he felt were affecting people of all ages and both sexes including children.
Acting on the observations of Dr. Truss, in the early 80s I began treating a number of my patients with sugar-free special diets and safe oral antifungal medication, nystatin.  During the mid 80s and on into the 90s, I reported my observations to professional and lay groups throughout the United States and Canada.  Yet, most of my medical peers either weren't interested or considered what I had to say "speculative and unproven."
During the 1990s, Bernal Rimland, President of the autism Research Society, told me that the incidence of autism and related developmental problems was increasing.  Although multiple factors play a part in causing these disorders, he said that there was clear evidence that repeated antibiotics and yeast overgrowth play a significant role in causing autism in many children.  I received further confirmation of the Rimland observations from William Shaw, Ph.D., a former member of the faculty of the University of Missouri Medical Center in Kansas City.
As you may know, I've written a number of books about yeast-related disorders, including The Yeast Connection, The Yeast Connection Cookbook (co-authored by Marjorie Hurt Jones), The Yeast Connection and the Woman and The Yeast Connection Handbook.
I also published several books which focus on children including Tracking Down Hidden Food Allergy; Solving the Puzzle of Your Hard to Raise child (co-authored by Laura J. Stevens) and Help for the Hyperactive Child.
Because these books have been read by many people, including parents, I have received tens of thousands of letters from people seeking information. With the help of friends and relatives, the International health Foundation was established in 1985. The subsequent year, it received IRS approval as a non-profit organization. For over a decade IHF has prepared and distributed information to those who write and call.
If you'd like additional information, I would be happy to hear from you.
William G. Crook  M.D.
Emeritus fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on  Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, Section on School Health
Emeritus Fellow, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Emeritus Fellow, American Academy of Environmental Medicine
Member, American Medical Association
Member, Alpha Omega Alpha
President, International Health Foundation

This letter has been reproduced from the IHF's booklet "Children's Health Problems".  This booklet has excerpts from several of the articles Dr. Crook sites in this letter and references to other reports which relate to problem which affect many of your patients.  The great majority of these materials have been excerpted from a 294-page informally prepared compendium entitled "The Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Other Kinds of Cerebral Dysfunction."  This collection of materials was complied in January 1998.  A limited number of copies are available from the International Health Foundation (IHF), Box 3494, Jackson TN 38303.  A donation of $25 is requested.

Information on Dr. Crook and IHF can be found at an informational site about the IHF or at the Candida-Yeast website

If you treat patients for yeast-related issues please contact us and Dr. Crook, as he publishes a list of physicians who treat this condition.  We also publish lists of physicians who assist children with candida and other related issues.

Avatar universal
I agree completely with the above comments!

Have you tried the following?

1) "Pro-biotics" for infants & children: BIFIDUS (BIFIDO-BACTERIA), with only rice solids added (also get milk-free). BIFIDUS is related to ACIDOPHILUS, BUT IS SPECIFIC TO INFANTS' AND CHILDREN'S LARGE INTESTINES. These beneficial bacteria are usually killed off when a child has been on anti-biotics. These beneficial bacteria do wonderful things for children (and adults), such as:

a) cure diarrhea (AND constipation too),
b) get rid of harmful yeast (Candida albicans) in the large intestine,
c) get rid of many harmful bacteria, and even some viruses, in the large intestine,
d) produce some B vitamins which can get absorbed into the bloodstream, from the large intestine,

2) GLUTEN-FREE DIET, since many people (including infants and toddlers) are "allergic" to "gluten". To try this, avoid all foods that contain gluten, such as WHEAT, RYE, OATS, BARLEY, and BUCKWHEAT.

GLUTEN-FREE grains include BROWN RICE and CORN. But many people are sensitive to corn, so avoid it. And even though rice is gluten free, some gluten intolerant people (those with CELIAC DISEASE) do better to avoid all grains for a while. Then, they can usually do fine with (organic) BROWN RICE and brown rice cereals, cakes & cookies made from organic brown rice flour, etc.

Gluten intolerance usually causes diarrhea.


3) AVOID SUGARY FOODS which can cause diarrhea, and/or feed bad yeasts (Candida albicans). READ LABELS FOR HIDDEN SOURCES OF SUGAR.

4) AVOID ALL SYNTHETIC (ARTIFICIAL) INGREDIENTS, such as NUTRASWEET (Equal/Aspartame), and other artificial sweeteners. READ LABELS CAREFULLY. Nutrasweet can cause upset stomach, and other much worse effects!

5) AVOID ALL FAKE FATS (OLEAN/OLESTRA, etc.), which can do great harm to digestive systems.

6) CONTINUE TO AVOID COW'S MILK which many children are allergic to (the proteins in milk), and/or have a LACTOSE INTOLERANCE TO (the milk sugar/lactose).

If your child is gluten-intolerant, there may also be lactose intolerance. The two are often found together, because:

In gluten intolerant people, the gluten harms or destroys the tiny, microscopic projections in the small intestine, called "villi". These "villi" normally produce several digestive enzymes, including the one that breaks down (digests) milk sugar/lactose. This enzyme is called Lactase.

When a gluten intolerant person stops eating gluten, the "villi" can re-generate (grow back), and digestion and absorption return to normal. (But many children do have allergies to the proteins in cow's milk, and are better off not drinking it.)

7) Find another, better pediatric Gastro-intestinal doc, who will take the time to figure out what's going on with the little child! There can be more than one thing happening at the same time. WHAT IS YOUR GUT FEELING ABOUT WHAT IS CAUSING THIS DIARRHEA?

8) Run these ideas by a trusted, good doc, to be sure they are OK in your child's case!

I wish you the best! I hope your child feels better and gets better soon!

Sincerely, Concerned lady

Avatar universal
My son has had diarrhea for almost 2 years now. When it first started, it was very watery and had alot of mucas in it. It was not uncommon for me to change up to 10 diapers a day. After going to several Doctors, it was determined that he had Toddlers Diarrhea. They said some children just seem to get this. They were not too concerned because he was still growing and hasn't lost weight. He's been hospitalized twice for dehydration though. I found that if you watch the kinds of juices he drinks, it doesn't flare up, also, I stopped all dairy, and now am watching the corn products. Good luck. Have you tried the BRATY DIET?
Avatar universal
Hi.  I would really ask your doctor about Celiac disease.  My sons sounds the same(21 months) and his blood test showed positive.  We are confirming it with a bowel biopsy this week.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, 6 month old with constant diarrhea was started.
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