Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tropical Sprue Diarrhea in Children

Home treatment of diarrhea due to tropical sprue includes hydration and dietary therapy.

Hydration
Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids used in children include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital
  • Generic drugstore brands

Additional ORT fluids for older children include:
  • Soft drinks without caffeine
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Strategies for breast-fed infants under 6 months include:
  • Continue breast feeding as much as your baby desires.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to supplement breast milk.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids every 30-60 minutes.
  • Prevent diaper rash by changing diapers frequently and apply Vaseline to the skin.
  • Watch for symptoms of dehydration.

Strategies for bottle-fed infants under 6 months:
  • Give your child normal amounts of formula.
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your baby desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids every 30-60 minutes.
  • If vomiting occurs, try a lactose-free formula.
  • Prevent diaper rash by changing diapers frequently and apply Vaseline to the skin.
  • Watch for symptoms of dehydration.

Strategies for children over 6 months:

Continue to Tropical Sprue Diet

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tropical Sprue References
  1. Farrell JJ. Overview and diagnosis of malabsorption syndrome. Semin Gastrointest Dis. 2002 Oct;13(4):182-90. [12462704]
  2. Ginsburg PM, Janefalkar P, Rubin DT, Ehrenpreis ED. Malabsorption testing: a review. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2000 Oct;2(5):370-7. [10998664]
  3. Salerno G, De Franco A, La Rosa S, Calistro V. Malabsorption syndromes. Rays. 2002 Jan-Mar;27(1):19-34. [12696272]
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