The University of Nottingham Health Service
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Diarrhoea and vomitingDiarrhoea and vomiting

Lasts 2-10 days typically. Commonly caused by foods which have been infected with a bacteria or virus. Antibiotics are often not helpful even when the infection is bacterial as they irritate the gut and worsen the symptoms.

Symptoms

  • Loose watery stools
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

 

How to help yourself

  • Drink plenty of fluids. If you vomit when drinking, take lots of small sips regularly rather than a large drink in one go
  • Avoid eating initially in order to let your gut rest - this will help it fight the infection
  • Avoid preparing food for others. Maintain meticulous hygiene - wash your hands whenever going to the toilet or handling vomit or diarrhoea

Available medicine

Medicine from the pharmacy

  • Loperamide (e.g. Imodium)
  • Oral rehydration solution (e.g. Dioralyte)
  • Paracetomol or Co-codamol (e.g. Solpadol)

 

When to contact us

  • Contact the practice if any of the following occur:
  • High fever or Bloody diarrhoea
  • If you are diabetic
  • If your job involves working with food
  • If you have travelled abroad recently
  • If the symptoms have not resolved in 1 week
 

For children and babies the same general advice applies. Stop all food and milk and encourage clear fluids. Babies who are breast fed should continue to feed as normal. Children or babies should not be given anti diarrhoea medicine. Consult the practice if symptoms persist for more than one day or if you are concerned.