Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis), but there are many other causes to it.
The Common Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea are:
1. Viral Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) - It is a viral infection of the intestines. The viruses that cause stomach flu are norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and adenovirus. This infection spreads through contamination of food with infected stool or vomit.
2. Food Poisoning: It is a bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract. It is caused by eating contaminated food, undercooked food or meat.
3. Stress and Anxiety: When you are stressed or anxious, stress hormones are released, which slow the motility of the stomach and small intestine. This increases the movement in the large intestine causing frequent bowel movements. Stress also worsens the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
4. Pregnancy: Pregnant women experience vomiting and diarrhea due to changes in the diet, hormonal changes, prenatal vitamins, and food sensitivities. Some pregnant women develop a condition that causes severe nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum.
5. Over eating: Consuming a large amount of fatty and sugary foods can cause diarrhea and vomiting as it irritates the lining of the stomach.
6. Alcoholism: Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause gastritis.
7. Medicine-Induced: Medicines like some antibiotics, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) cause vomiting and diarrhea as side effects.
Are Vomiting and Diarrhea Dangerous?
Yes they can be dangerous if you lose a lot of fluids, which can result in dehydration. Children and older people are more susceptible to dehydration. Mild dehydration can be treated with home remedies, but severe dehydration might require hospitalization.
Treatment of Vomiting and Diarrhea:
Usually, vomiting and diarrhea resolve within a couple of days with the help of home remedies to prevent dehydration:
1. Keep giving smaller feeds for 5 minutes every 30 to 60 minutes.
2. Give ORS(Oral Rehydration Solution) after consulting your doctor.
2. Drink plenty of fluids like ORS(Oral Rehydration Solution) water, clear soup, etc.
3. Avoid spicy and fatty foods.
4. Do not take dairy and caffeinated drinks.
Get Immediate Medical Attention, if the child:
1. Is younger than 6 months.
2. Has a fever higher than 37.5°
3. Has been vomiting for more than 8 hours.
4. Has blood in the vomit or stool.
5. Has a severe headache or stiff neck.
6. Cannot stand up straight.
7. Is sleeping more than usual.
8. Is inactive.
9. Has abdominal pain for more than 2 hours.
10. Shows signs of dehydration even after taking ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution).
And for adults, see a doctor immediately if:
1. You are vomiting for more than a couple of days. Elderly patients should be taken to the hospital even with minimal symptoms.
2. You have diarrhea even after 7 days with significant pain in the abdomen or abdominal distension.
3. You show signs of dehydration even after taking ORS.
4. Your vomit is green, yellow, coffee-colored or blood tinged.
5. You see blood in your stools.
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