Chronic and persistent diarrhea in infants and young children: Status statement
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- Pediatric Gastroenterology Chapter, Indian Academy of Pediatrics & Matthai, J. Indian Pediatr (2011) 48: 37. doi:10.1007/s13312-011-0018-9
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Diarrhea that lasts for more than two weeks is a common cause of mortality and morbidity in infants and children. There is a need to update the information available on this subject in Indian context.
This review has analyzed the available published data on the subject with particular focus on developing countries. It has also outlined the current diagnostic and management practices in India based on the experience of the participants from major hospitals in different parts of the country.
Problem areas in both persistent and chronic diarrhea have been identified and remedial measures relevant to India are presented.
Micronutrient supplementation, algorithm based diet regimens, and good supportive care are sufficient in most children above 6 months of age with persistent diarrhea. Paucity of diagnostic facilities limits evaluation of chronic diarrhea in most parts of the country and regional laboratories need to be set up urgently. Lack of awareness regarding cow’s milk protein allergy, celiac disease and immunodeficiency associated diarrhea is of particular concern.