“Bowel Sounds” Pediatric GI Podcast: Dr. Martin and Dr. Vartabedian

It’s been nearly two years since the start of the NASPGHAN Bowel Sounds Podcast.

They are really good. While I am more of a visual learner, I like listening to the hosts banter at the beginning and then their capable interviews. The Podcasts have chosen terrific guests. You can read about and listen to all of the episodes at the NASPGAN website (link below), or listen on the go on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever else you listen to podcasts.

Here’s the NASPGHAN link: Bowel Sounds: The Pediatric GI Podcast

The two most recent podcasts (Dr. Martin and Dr. Vartabedian) exemplify the wide range of information available.

Dr. Martin Martin reviews the topic of congenital diarrheas and enteropathies (CODEs). Some key points:

  • History: Timing and Severity. Onset in the first week of life is suggestive of a congenital diarrhea (CODE). In those with later onset (eg. >4 weeks), need to consider infections, post-infectious diarrhea, and allergic disorders
  • Workup if suspicious of CODE -detailed in UpToDate (Dr. Martin is one of the authors). Many kids need serum studies, stool studies, imaging (AXR, UGI/SBFT) and EGD/Flex sig. In UpToDate, search either “congenital diarrhea” or “approach to chronic diarrhea in neonates and young infants (<6 months)” (36 pages)
  • Treatment: Most kids need a short (~24 hr) trial of NPO when there is adequate IV access to determine if diarrhea is malabsorption (goes away with fasting) and if diarrhea persists which is suggestive of an electrolyte transport-related diarrhea (aka. secretory diarrhea)
  • Dr. Martin advises use of bolus feeds when feeding trials are introduced in this population to get to an answer quicker. Usually with significant diarrhea, it is reasonable to start with a carbohydrate-free formula (eg. RCF formula). If there is not diarrhea with RCF, this suggests a carbohydrate malabsorption whereas ongoing diarrhea is suggestive of a more generalized malabsorption
  • Genetic testing should be performed earlier in the evaluation of those with a high suspicion of a CODE (eg. 1st week of life onset, severity, polyhydramnios, consanguinity) if the infectious workup is negative


  1. Advances in Evaluation of Chronic Diarrhea in Infants (nih.gov)
  2. PediCODE
  3. www.uptodate.com – Title: Approach to chronic diarrhea in neonates and young infants (<6 months)
  4. https://www.preventiongenetics.com/

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Dr. Vartabedian, in his episode, discusses the importance of “owning your online identity as a physician, something “Dr. V” has written and spoken about extensively, including on his blog at 33charts.com” (from NASPGHAN website). He explains that everyone has a presence online and physicians can influence the content. At the very least, most physicians should make sure that their institutional profile looks good and that they take advantage of placing a profile on LinkedIn.

Other key points:

  • Dr. V’s book is available on 33charts (see link below)
  • Physicians can do a “vanity” search on Google and see what is posted about them
  • Dr. V recommends a book called “Keep Going” by Austin Kleon. “Whether you’re burned out, starting out, starting over, or wildly successful, Keep Going will help you stay on the path to more creative work.” (from Austin Kleon website)
  • Dr. V discusses a range issues which include negative physician reviews, online Trolls, and patient privacy


  1. The Public Physician | A Guide to Life in a Connected World
  2. 33charts.com (also be sure to sign up for the 33mail newsletter while you are there)

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