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A 29-year-old member asked:

is it necessary to avoid feeding my child dairy after a bout of gastroenteritis?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cory Annis
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics 29 years experience
No: Sense & science disagree. With diarrhea, cells that digest the sugar in dairy (lactose) get stripped away. Then fluids pass right through undigested, worsening diarrhea. It takes a while for those cells to return. However, studies suggest avoiding dairy doesn't help kids get better faster, but does help adults! yogurt seems ok for both, though, as lactose is already digested by helpful bacteria.
Dr. Evelyn Hurvitz
Pediatrics 37 years experience
Yes: It is not necessary to avoid dairy after a bout of gastroenteritis. The lining cells of the gut which have been killed by the virus which caused the gastroenteritis have to regrow. In order to regrow, they need good nutrition, which includes dairy foods. Expect a child recovering from gastroenteritis to continue to have diarrhea until the lining cells heal completely.
Dr. Gregg Alexander
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Other esteemed colleagues answered "yes", but then wrote that you don't need to avoid dairy after gastroenteritis which is what i recommend. (i think they just hit the wrong button!) yogurt (with "live" or "active" cultures - meaning it can't be frozen because that kills the good stuff) can be especially helpful. So, to be clear, i say "no, you don't need to avoid dairy after gastroenteritis.".

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Last updated Jan 5, 2019

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