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What does the presence of blood in stool of an infant indicate?

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Posted on Mon, 18 May 2015
Question: Hi Doctor,

I have a 3 month old son, he has been on formula for almost two and a half months now. 10-12 days ago he he had diarrhea with blood which lasted a week and my pediatrician gave him antibiotic called cefspan. He was also being given protectis - probiotic drops.

His bowel movements then went back to normal. Today he started to have loose motions again - the same diarrhea like but there is no blood yet. I am scared that the incident will repeat itself and I have started protectis again for seven days 5 drops daily. As far as his bottle-cleaning and water/formula hygiene is concerned, I follow everything by the books. I wash all the bottles myself, use boiled water, sterilize the bottles every time they are washed with a steam sterilizer. What should I do to avoid diarrhea? IS it possible that his formula is acting up after 3 months of usage? Should I try changing that?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Eric Goldstein (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Diarrhea

Detailed Answer:
Hello. I just read through your question.
Blood in the stool of formyla fed babies can sometimes be an indication of milk-protein allergy. I understand that there has not been any blood seen this time. I also agree with the use of probitotics in any case. However, the return of the diarrhea would have me at least think about milk protein allergy. In this case, a formula change is often the answer. It sounds like your pediatrician was thinking bacterial infection last time. This email s a legitimate diagnosis as well.
However, I recommend bringing up this possibility with your pediatrician and seeing what the response is. A stool sample can be sent to rye lab to help make a diagnosis.

Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Eric Goldstein (1 hour later)
Is it possible that the baby can have a milk-protein allergy after 3 months of usage. During the first two months, his stomach might have been adjusting to the formula but he never had an incident of diarrhea. This has just occurred in the last 2-3 weeks.

I can discuss with my doctor about this but if it was and is a bacterial infection - how is he taking it orally? Again I wash bottles, sterilize them properly and keep my hands clean.

Also, I am worried because this seems to be a recurring problem and there is something wrong with either my practice or the formula. Would changing bottles help?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Eric Goldstein (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Formula

Detailed Answer:
Yes. A milk protein allergy can manifest at this point. The reappearance of symptoms makes a bacterial infection less likely, but still not impossible. You are washing the bottles appropriately.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Eric Goldstein

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Practicing since :1999

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What does the presence of blood in stool of an infant indicate?

Brief Answer: Diarrhea Detailed Answer: Hello. I just read through your question. Blood in the stool of formyla fed babies can sometimes be an indication of milk-protein allergy. I understand that there has not been any blood seen this time. I also agree with the use of probitotics in any case. However, the return of the diarrhea would have me at least think about milk protein allergy. In this case, a formula change is often the answer. It sounds like your pediatrician was thinking bacterial infection last time. This email s a legitimate diagnosis as well. However, I recommend bringing up this possibility with your pediatrician and seeing what the response is. A stool sample can be sent to rye lab to help make a diagnosis. Good luck.