Dealing with diarrhea

In this “Ask Beth,” let’s look at a typical exchange through the Patient Portal, which lets us communicate with patients after hours and as needed.  When you submit your question through the Patient Portal, we have your child's medical record in front of us--even when we're not in the office. Parents and provider love this new tool!

This is not only a great question about dealing with diarrhea, it also shows the parent’s skills and methods used to fix the problem before calling for an appointment.

Mom: [Johnny] had a couple days last week of watery diarrhea about 7 x for 2 days. Now this week he started having loose stools about 3x a day and has a bloated belly but is not in pain. He is not dehydrated as he drinks a ton of water everyday. I have been putting him on the brat diet and it seems to be helping. Just wondering if I should give him a couple more days or schedule an appointment to bring him in. We all also have a cold so not sure if that could cause it or not. He is acting like his normal self playing, running around, climbing on everything, so he is not acting any different than he usually does.

Beth: Good morning--great question. Based on the runny nose, loose stools x2-3 days, no fever and acting well otherwise, I would not bring him in for an appointment. If he has diarrhea (loose stools more than 3-4 times a day) for 7 days without fever, I would want to see him. A stool culture would be appropriate at that point.

We also use the Patient Portal to pre-register new patients. If you have questions, contact us at (419) 549-5865.