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Caring for children with diarrhea

Learn how our Gastroenterology, Liver and Nutrition Program cares for children with diarrhea.

Related tests and treatments:

Our approach to diarrhea

Although diarrhea can be a short-term complaint related to bacterial or viral infections, it can also be a symptom of many chronic gastrointestinal disorders. The gastroenterology team at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin includes renowned experts who specialize in conditions that can cause diarrhea, including celiac disease, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease and eosinophilic gastroenteritis. Our specialists draw upon their vast experience in treating diarrhea to determine the best diagnostic and therapeutic plan for your child’s case.

Diarrhea services we offer

  • Diagnosis
  • Customized treatment plan
  • Nutritional support

Diagnosing and treating diarrhea

Most cases of diarrhea resolve on their own and require no testing or treatment. Our specialists will use their best judgment to determine if further testing is warranted and might recommend a blood test, stool test or endoscopy if another condition is suspected.

Because severe or frequent diarrhea can lead to dehydration, treatment often involves increasing your child’s fluid consumption with water or special beverages such as Pedialyte™ or Gatorade™. Your child’s doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if he or she suspects a bacterial infection. Your child may need to make dietary changes if the diarrhea is due to a condition such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance.

Do not use antidiarrheal medications unless recommended by your child’s doctor.

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