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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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December 2001

Q. I have an 8-year-old, who has had diarrhea for four days. Does eating peanuts aggravate the diarrhea? What foods make it worse? What should I do?

A. Mild diarrhea, either frequent or unformed bowel movements, can often be managed at home with intake of clear liquids and low fat foods. In children, a common recommendation is the BRAT diet, bananas, applesauce, rice, and toast, foods that tend to counteract the symptoms and are easy to digest. High fat foods, and milk or milk products will aggravate the symptoms.

Symptoms that require medical attention would include fever, vomiting, symptoms lasting more than 1-2 days, and of course anything severe or painful. Four days is too long for a child to be ill, so medical attention is needed.



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