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Newborn and Infant Care

Diarrhea in infant

10/10/1999

Question:

My 2 month old has had diarrhea for nearly 2 weeks. She has 1 to 4 runny bowel movements a day now and at least 6 wet diapers a day. Before the diarrhea started she always only had a bowel movement every couple of days. A day and a half before the diarrhea started, she seemed uncomfortable with constipation, so since she had not had a BM for 2 days, I put KY on a rectal thermometer and inserted it to tried to make her have a BM. She had a "normal BM" within minutes. Is it possible that inserting the thermometer could have something to do with causing the diarrhea since it started within a day and a half after that? I breastfeed with occasional formula. (Last time for formula was a week ago.) I take prenatal vitamins. She has vitamins too, but I can only rarely get her to swallow them. Is there any test that can be done to determine the cause of the diarrhea? Thank you.

Answer:

Hello, I would advise you to contact your health care provider right away to make an appointment for your daughter for a physical examination. Diarrhea can have many different causes and there are tests that can be performed to determine the cause so that appropriate treatment can be started. I would not think there is any relationship to your use of the rectal thermometer and the onset of the diarrhea. Do contact your daughter`s health care provider to have this investigated as it could be indicative of a serious problem. Good luck.

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Response by:

Judy Wright Lott, RNC, NNP, DSN
Associate Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati