I have a feeling this is going to be a long post... So forgive me!
First of all, my now 20 mo ds had a milk allergy when he was an infant, but he's been drinking regular milk and eating dairy products for about 6 months now, and things seem to be okay. He had been having some looser stools though (maybe once or twice a day) so at his 18mo check up I asked his doctor if it could still be the milk allergy causing the problem. He sent a referral to the pediatric allergist that my ds had seen last January to see if they would take him in earlier than the 1 year norm, to check on it, but they haven't called yet.
So now about a month ago, he experienced a bout of diarrhea that lasted off and on for a few days (maybe 4 days, but it wasn't every time he went. He would have regular stools as well), and gave him a TERRIBLE diaper rash, which he's never had before, that stuck around about a week. He showed absolutely no other signs or symptoms of illness--sleeping the normal amount, hearty appetite, endless energy, etc.. So I figured it was something he had eaten that was just taking it's time leaving his system. Eventually the diaper rash and diarrhea went away, and all was normal.
Now, it began again about a week and a half to two weeks ago. He hasn't had one solid stool since then--they've either been quite loose, or all out diarrhea. Of course he has the diaper rash again (which makes changing his diaper quite the task...), and it just doesn't seem to be going away. Again, he doesn't seem sick in any way besides his stool. He normally poops 2-3 times a day, and that hasn't changed with the onset of the looser poops, or the diarrhea.
My questions are these: 1) Does it seem like this is some sort of allergy? The only new thing that has been introduced to his diet (and it's actually not NEW--he's had it before, but not on a daily basis) is Chewy Granola bars, which he's become absolutely obsessed with recently. He hasn't had them in 2 days though because I want to see if that's what's causing this problem...
I've been writing down everything that he consumes for the past 2 days, to see if I can figure this out. And so far the only things I've taken out of his diet are the granola bars, and fruit juices (because I know that's not good for diarrhea anyway, whether it's causing it or not). 2) Could it be that he's got some sort of virus that's not causing him any other distress? 3) How common is it for toddlers to suddenly develop an allergy to something they've always eaten, or have an allergy worsen (ie the milk) out of the blue?
God bless you if you've read through the entire post!!! I am desperate here for help for my little guy. I'm also due any day now with baby #2, and I'm just completely at my wit's end with all this. I do plan to take him to the doctor in a couple days if the elimination of the new food hasn't stopped or slowed down the problem.
Any advice is appreciated!!!