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Child has loose stools, done RM stool test, reducing sustenance positive. What does it mean?

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hi doctor, my one month old baby is passing loose stools from the past 2-3 days..he is colicy also ...i got his stool RM test done and the findings are as below...though rest seem normal PUS CELL are 3-4 and reducing sustenance is POSITIVE... what does it means... he is breast feeding only... i introduced him to formula milk 10-15 days back for 3 days as i was on the report normal?
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 2 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Generally speaking, loose motions in infancy can be due to a viral infection (60-70% of the times), a bacterial infection (10%) or other causes, some of them being non-infectious. Pus cells are nothing but white blood cells which are present in small numbers even in a normal baby's stools. A count of 3-4 pus cells does not really tell us anything; a bacterial infection, also called "dysentery" will usually have hundreds of pus cells; hence, my feeling is that she has a viral diarrhoea, the commonest agent of which is the rota virus. Such diarrhoea is extremely common among Indians and other south Asians, and the episodes are generally self-limiting, although they last for 7-12 days at times.

You need not worry about the reducing substances either, as many medications, esp. vitamin C present in multivitamin drops, can give a false positive test for reducing substances; you need to give him breast milk as before, and take him for a weight check to a doctor so that if he gets weaker, you will be able to take preventive action like giving him salts-sugar-water ORS(Oral rehydration solution), zinc drops and so on.

I think he will be all right without antibiotics ...within the next few days or so. If he isn't better, you should see a Pediatrician.

That is all, I think, for now.

Do get back to me if you need any further answers. If you are satisfied, then please give me a positive rating and help me.

Thank you.

With best wishes and prayers for your son's quick recovery,

Dr. Taher Kagalwala
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has loose stools, done RM stool test, reducing sustenance positive. What does it mean? 1 hour later
his weight has been absolutely normal he is one month and 1 week old and weighs 5 kg ... his weight has never been an i hope antibiotics are not needed...his rota virus vaccination is due next month... i want to ask is it necessary or not....and how many days will he take to recover from this condition.. its already been 5-6 days
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 2 hours later

Don't worry, he will be okay. Just be patient. Give him the rotavirus vaccine as soon as he is all right, but don't be in a hurry to give that vaccine. Wait till he is completely recovered. It may take another 4-8 days. During this second week, get his stool test done again if he hasn't recovered. Other than that, I wouldn't recommend anything more drastic. You might want to add some probiotic preparations (ask his pediatrician about the same).

His weight gain is fantastic and there is no need for any tonics or intervention.

Thanks for reverting and do so whenever you need to know something more on this topic.

Dr. Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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