Most episodes of vomiting or diarrhea are caused by viral infections, but some are caused by improperly cooked or stored foods.
During an illness involving vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to prevent dehydration. Drink plenty of ﬂuids in small sips until the stomach is settled and then in larger amounts until your thirst is satisfied. Clear liquids are the best. Water, Gatorade, Sprite, 7-Up, and Ginger Ale are suggested. Clear broth, plain Jell—O and weak tea may also be used but in smaller amounts. Avoid milk or milk products during the first 24 hours. Continue plenty of ﬂuids until you are urinating with your usual frequency, your urine is light yellow or clear in color, and your feeling of hunger returns.
If there is no further episode of vomiting or diarrhea in 6 — 8 hours, advance the diet to include, soft, bland foods. Bananas, rice, applesauce, tea, toast, yogurt, soda crackers, pretzels, and plain potatoes are suggested. Fatty foods, fried foods, and spicy foods should be avoided as should caffeine and cigarette smoke. It is important to continue with ﬂuids to avoid dehydration. Continue this diet until symptoms are gone for 12 — 48 hours.
If the vomiting or diarrhea has stopped, you may supplement the above with full liquids, those containing pulp or milk products. Juices, cooked cereals, pudding, ice cream, sherbet, and strained cream soups are suggested. Eat in small amounts every few hours rather than 2 — 3 large portions during the day. This diet should be continued for another 24 hours.
Rest is always important when an illness is occurring. Get the sleep your body needs and do not add further stress to your body by attempting strenuous physical activity. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be taken for aches and fever. If your physician has prescribed a medication, take it as directed. Avoid the use of alcohol or nicotine during illness.
If steady improvement is not seen over the initial three days return to Wick Primary Care at YSU for an appointment with a physician.
Seek immediate medical care if:
- You have symptoms of dehydration such as:
- Dry eyes and a dry mouth
- Passing only a little dark urine
- Feeling thirstier than usual
- You are dizzy
- You have new or worsening belly pain
- You have a new or higher fever
- You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds