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Tips for parents dealing with toddler’s diarrhea

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Toddlerhood is a time when children are going through a lot of changes.  Children enter pre-school, toilet-training begins, diets change, and sometimes stooling patterns become different as well.  The latter issue often leads to parental worry.   One of the most common changes that parents of toddlers bring up during visits with me is that their toddler’s stools seem very loose or watery (“diarrhea”).  More often than not, the diagnosis ends up being “toddler’s diarrhea”, a harmless type of diarrhea that generally starts after a child is weaned.  (Other names for this condition include “functional diarrhea of childhood” or “chronic non-specific diarrhea of childhood”.)

Toddler’s diarrhea occurs due to a relative immaturity of the intestinal tract of young children.  Relatively speaking, sugars and some fluid get poorly absorbed.  The stools often contain undigested food particles (carrots and corn being the most commonly noticed).  The key differentiating factor that sets toddler’s diarrhea apart from other causes of diarrhea at this age is that except for loose stools, there are no other symptoms.  There is no malabsorption of nutrients, so children with toddler’s diarrhea have normal growth and weight gain.  Otherwise, they are perfectly healthy.  There won’t be anything abnormal found during their physical exam.  Tests are not generally needed, because those, too, will be normal.

Even though toddler’s diarrhea resolves on its own, I often tell families to follow the “4 Fs” as a guide to treatment:

Bladder control problems are not a normal part of aging

Lora Plaskon, MD, MS

Lora Plaskon, MD, MS
Urogynecologist

I remember hearing a lecture about 15 years ago, learning that by the year 2020 there will be more adults in diapers than babies!

It was hard to imagine that day back in 2000, but shopping in my local drugstore I realize that day is upon us. There is a whole double aisle dedicated to "Adult Continence Products" and only a quarter of the floor space dedicated to baby diapers. There is a tsunami wave of baby boomers, and bladder control is a big deal for many of us.

Over half of American women over 50 years old have some daily bother with bladder control - we are in the midst of an epidemic and women need to know this isn't a normal part of aging. Many women ...

Visiting Your Hospitalized Child

Deborah Worthington, RN, CPN

Deborah Worthington, RN, CPN
Registered Nurse, Swedish Pediatric Specialty Care

When your child is hospitalized, it’s understandable that family and friends will want to visit. This is often a help to both the patient and the parent at the bedside. To maximize the benefit of this support, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Visiting hours: Check with your nurse for the visiting hours and let your nurse know when you are able to visit. If there are extenuating circumstances for your family’s situation (e.g., a parent works night or swing shift and can only visit before or after), let the nursing staff know.

  • Security ...

Pediatric Experts Voice Concern Over Feeding Children Rice

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

A recent consensus statement written by international pediatric nutrition experts has recommended that infants and young children avoid rice-based drinks.  This is due to the fact that some types of rice contain large concentrations of inorganic arsenic, a first-level carcinogen.  There is no safe level of intake, because any exposure is risky.  The longer the exposure to inorganic arsenic, the more toxic its effects.

The newly published report reminds us that rice and derived products such as starch, flour and syrup are used to fortify different foods, including drinks, purees, and snacks.  These are foods often fed to infants and young children.  Since most of the inorganic arsenic in rice is concentrated in the outer bran layers, the report also highlights that potentially, the most harmful type of exposure is that which comes from products manufactured from brown rice.  

To reduce the harmful effects from arsenic exposure in rice-based foods, experts recommend the following:

FDA Questions Safety of Constipation Medication

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

On Monday the New York Times published an article about the FDA’s plan to research the safety of a very commonly prescribed medication, polyethylene glycol 3350 or PEG 3350 (most commonly known under the brand name, MiraLAX®).  As a pediatric gastroenterologist who often recommends this medication, I wanted to share my personal thoughts after reading the article.

First of all, although the news was certainly a surprise to me, it was a pleasant one. I was ...

Winter 2015 Classes: Registration Now Open

Jolyn Hull

Jolyn Hull
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

The Swedish Cancer Institute Cancer Education Center offers educational classes that are open to patients, caregivers, family, and friends. Our wide variety of classes include topics of things like chair yoga, hair alternatives, music therapy and more.

The classes we offer are meant to be interactive, educational, and offer you tools to assist and prepare throughout you or your loved one’s journey. These programs may also help you, your family, friends and caregivers in making treatment decisions, managing your symptoms, and accessing complementary programs to help your mind, body and spirit to heal.

What's next after breast cancer?

Damarise Navarro, MPH

Damarise Navarro, MPH
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

The Swedish Cancer Institute offers several groups for patients and their caregivers, one of which being ABC-After Breast Cancer: What’s Next?  The breast cancer survivorship class has positively impacted the lives of many individuals and has shown to be extremely beneficial and of great interest to breast cancer patients.


ABC is a free eight-week supportive educational series for women to learn practical life skills to help rebuild after active breast cancer treatment is completed. During the eight-week program participants have the opportunity to make peace with the impacts of cancer treatment, reduce the stress cancer places on relationships, overcome the fear of recurrence, and renew hope and increase resilience.  Individuals who are preparing to complete or have completed breast cancer treatment are invited to sign up for the class. The program provides a sense of community amongst breast cancer survivors.
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