Chronic Diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea is defined as loose, watery stool or increased frequency of stool for longer than four weeks. The board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists with Norton Children’s Gastroenterology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the experience to treat chronic diarrhea in kids.

What Causes Chronic Diarrhea in Children?

Diarrhea can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Food intolerance or allergy
  • Parasites
  • Medication reaction
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease
  • Functional bowel disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stomach or gallbladder surgery

Symptoms of Severe Diarrhea

Severe, chronic diarrhea may indicate a serious condition. It is important to talk to your child’s pediatrician if your child is younger than 6 months old or has any of these symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Bloody stool
  • Cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Depressed fontanelle (soft spot) on an infant’s head
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Loss of appetite for liquids
  • Fever
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Incontinence
  • Nausea
  • No tears when crying
  • Urinates less often (wets fewer than six diapers during the day)

Diarrhea Treatment

Mild cases of diarrhea can be handled by your child’s pediatrician. Chronic diarrhea treatment depends on your child’s age and current health, as well as the cause. The board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists with Norton Children’s Gastroenterology will work with you and your child to develop a personalized care plan.

Related Stories

How to help a baby with reflux
From 1 pound, 10 ounces to a thriving kindergartner
Norton Children’s creates MIS-C multidisciplinary clinic
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms in children