Chronic nonspecific diarrhea of childhood: pathophysiology and management

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1996 Apr;43(2):375-90. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(05)70411-9.


Chronic nonspecific diarrhea, or toddler's diarrhea, is a frequently encountered disorder of defecation in otherwise healthy children. Although the precise pathophysiology remains to be elucidated, evidence suggests that toddler's diarrhea primarily is a gut motility disorder, modulated by dietary factors. Although the role of low-fat diets has since long been established, the liberal consumption of fruit juices and soft drinks is considered an equally important factor. Normalization of the child's diet, especially with regard to fat, fiber, fluids, and fruit juices, usually suffices to attain resolution of the diarrhea.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diarrhea* / diagnosis
  • Diarrhea* / etiology
  • Diarrhea* / physiopathology
  • Diarrhea* / therapy
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Humans
  • Infant