Loose motions in children, probiotic and food during fluViews — By Madhurie Singh on May 14, 2010 at 10:42 AM
My world came to a stand still on15th Nov morning when my two boys were down with high body temperature. With swine flu making a comeback, we were very scared and kept our fingers crossed. Thankfully, there was no soreness in the throats or any cough. I gave them Ibugesic Plus and the fever came down. But those two nights were scary.
Next morning I rushed to Ruby Hall to consult our pediatrician Dr Neeta Hanumante. She was sure there was no swine flu as the respiratory tract was clear. I had started giving my boys Normet (Norfloxacin and Metronidazole) for loose motions but the medicine did not seem to work. So the doctor changed it to O2 (Ofloxacin and Ornidazole). Although Norloxacin is also a broad spectrum antibiotic and suppose to work on both gram +ve and gram -ve bacteria, it failed. Maybe, because it was used continuously for last 5 years, the bacteria seemed to have got accustomed to the medicine or may be the drug was not powerful enough.
Dr Hanumante also prescribed Zinc based multivitamin as Zinc is supposed to help the gut lining recovery. To replenish the good flora of the gut, I started ViBact which is a sachet of pre & probiotics. These good bacteria’s are very important for quick upset tummy recoveries. You must have seen the advertisement of Yakult endorsed by the actress Kajol. This small bottle costing Rs10/- has only lactobacillus casei strain (6.5 billion in one drink). But during gastro problems, it’s best to go for pre and probiotic Vibact which has 50 million Lactobacillus spores, 30 million streptococcus faecalis, 2 million clostridium butyricum and 1 million bacillus mesentericus and costs Rs 8/ sachet. The advantage of Vibact is definitely more variety of good bacteria. Also one sachet can be mixed in one glass of water to be given during the whole day.
Kajol may be unknowingly recommending Yakult for daily consumption, but it is not advisable to take any probiotic on a daily basis. The body has its own way to culture the flora in our gut and if we provide anything extra, it will only be flushed down the drain.
The viral flu in the air now may be the “Rota virus” which causes gastroenteritis in kids, leading to loose motions and fever. The doctor told us that lots of kids with similar symptoms were calling in sick so no need to panic. Easy to say!
She also assured me that the motion should be fine by the 6th day. And look! On the 6th day; both were perfectly fine with normal motion. (Never have I felt so happy peeking into the pot before, than this time.)
A pathologist friend advised, now that the virus has gone, I should clear away any remaining microbes and worms with Zentel (Albendazole). One bottle per child and repeat it after a month to remove any traces of worms.
In the last 7 days, I gathered some important information which may be useful to some the mothers.
How to differentiate between Swine Flu and Normal Flu symptoms?
If fever comes down by any medicine, then it’s a common flu. In either case, reduce the exposure of your child to public places. Make sure they wash their hands frequently and also get a new scrubber for washing the dishes. Make sure you clean the floor; wipe the door knobs, handles, switches, phones, remotes with dettol at least once a week, as this will keep the germs out of your house.
Foods to be consumed during loose motion / stomach upset.
The ideal foods that will help your kids to recover fast during loose motions, is the BRAT. A perfect acronym for our little ones! The BRAT stands for banana, rice (overcooked), apple and toast (no maida).
Add methi or fenugreek seeds into the boiling moong khichdi as they are excellent to stop loose motion.
Another sure shot home remedy I can swear by, is a half nutmeg boiled in 1 cup water till it is reduced to one fourth. Mix this water in normal water and give it to your kids. I used to give this even when they were on powder milk.
I make soup with vegetables that has loads of potassium as it helps to cure loose motions. I have come across this beautiful site which I have been referring to now over last 12 months and trust me it is a Bible of all food items. It is called nutritiondata.com.
Soup made of onion, tomato, carrot, potato and most important parsley with ginger, garlic helps a lot to recover fast. Chicken soup with same ingredients is also excellent.
Maida or white flour, sugar, oil and spices are the foods that must be completely avoided during loose motions. They are difficult to digest and will just pass out of the body causing more pain than any gain.
And if the child is not eating or drinking anything, then ORS is a must.