What causes a infant to have congential chloride diarrhea?

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besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Congenital chloride diarrhea is very rare. When an infant is born with this it means that the infant does not absorb electrolytes properly, especially chloride. The baby can actually show symptoms before he or she is even born. Electrolyte imbalances can be very dangerous, even life threatening. Symptoms include a very watery diarrhea, failure to thrive, low chloride levels, low sodium levels, low potassium levels, an excess of amniotic fluid before birth, and dehydration. It is caused by a recessively inherited genetic defect. Treatments usually address the symptoms of this defect.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Hypochloremic alkalosis occurs from a decreased intake of chlorine or excessive loss of chlorine. The low intake of chlorine is very unusual. The excessive loss of chlorine occurs mainly in hospitalized children,  with diuretic therapy or nasogastric tube suction. The syndromes of loss of chlorine, including Bartter syndrome, congenital diarrhea with loss of chlorine and cystic fibrosis, cause renal tubular loss and defective electrolyte transport in intestinal epithelium or through skin.

Hypochloremic alkalosis is common in hospitalized children and rare outside the hospital. It results frequently  from diuretic therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. It happens if there is a loss of gastric acid, when it is performed the procedure of nasogastric intubation.

Congenital diarrhea can occur before birth, in the second trimester. Metabolic abnormalities may occur after the first few days of life. Bartter syndrome is present at any age but it occurs mainly in children under one year. Hypochloremic alkalosis through cystic fibrosis is common in childhood but becomes more severe in summer time, due to excessive sweating and loss of chlorine.

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