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What Causes Cold, Runny Nose, Cough And Diarrhea?

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Posted on Mon, 17 Oct 2016
Question: my son has what seemed to be a cold with runny nose and cough. never any fever. now he has had diarrhea and has for 36 hours. he actually seems to be feeling better on an energy level. still runny nose and cough but less than before.

I have tried tylenol and benadryl. We tried benadryl at night for 2 nights and then quit.
Tylenol we quit when diarrhea set in so he's been off it for about 24/36 hours.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Taher Y Kagalwala (20 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
This is most likely due to a virus.

Detailed Answer:
The occurrence of cold symptoms followed by diarrhoea within a few days points to this being due to a virus. As you might be aware, most viral illnesses are self-limiting in nature and will not respond to antibiotics. You should make sure that your son remains well hydrated and keeps having easy-to-digest food. His diarrhoea may take up to a week to improve. However, if you keep encouraging him to drink salt-sugar solutions, he will remain fine.

Tylenol will neither improve nor worsen his diarrhoea. You can continue to use it whenever he has fever, or he is cranky - likely because of pain.

With best wishes,

Dr. Taher Kagalwala
( Working as a staff doctor in Blackpool, UK).
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Taher Y Kagalwala (45 minutes later)
We have been feeding him his regular formula, bananas and yogurt. And if he will take a sip of Pedialyte we do that too. Any other suggestions? I'm not completely certain what you mean by salt/surgary solutions. So no need for any medicine then?

And thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Taher Y Kagalwala (52 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Pedialyte is salt + sugar + water

Detailed Answer:
Dear Friend,

Pedialyte is exactly what I meant when I said salt and sugar solutions. Due to ethical problems, we are not allowed to name any brands. ;-)

Having said that, yes, I think no medicines are needed at this stage. Your red-flags would be -
a) He has severe pain while passing his loose stools
b) The frequency of loose stools is increasing day after day
c) He passes blood in the stool
d) He has high fever
e) He is unable to drink the Pedialyte because he is very ill or he has a lot of vomiting
f) Anything else that you are unable to understand or he just doesn't seem to be himself.

If there are any of the above red flags, you should seek an urgent appointment with the child's pediatrician.

Now, as I said earlier, if his cold sticks around the same as before - you don't have to worry. But there are red flags here as well and they include -
a) His cough keeps increasing
b) He starts breathing faster than usual or seems to be working hard to get the breathing sorted out
c) High fever supervenes
d) His food or fluid intake becomes less because of the respiratory illness.

Again, if any of these occur, you would need to contact his pediatrician.

Hope this helps. Do feel free to converse.

Dr Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Taher Y Kagalwala

Pediatrician

Practicing since :1982

Answered : 709 Questions

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What Causes Cold, Runny Nose, Cough And Diarrhea?

Brief Answer: This is most likely due to a virus. Detailed Answer: The occurrence of cold symptoms followed by diarrhoea within a few days points to this being due to a virus. As you might be aware, most viral illnesses are self-limiting in nature and will not respond to antibiotics. You should make sure that your son remains well hydrated and keeps having easy-to-digest food. His diarrhoea may take up to a week to improve. However, if you keep encouraging him to drink salt-sugar solutions, he will remain fine. Tylenol will neither improve nor worsen his diarrhoea. You can continue to use it whenever he has fever, or he is cranky - likely because of pain. With best wishes, Dr. Taher Kagalwala ( Working as a staff doctor in Blackpool, UK).