Nausea, Vomiting & Diarrhea

When nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea occur together, it is often known as the “stomach flu.” These symptoms are caused by a viral intestinal infection. In addition to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, you may also experience abdominal cramps and pain, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever.

Most cases of stomach flu will resolve on their own; however, serious complications can occur in infants, older adults, and the immunocompromised. The major complication to watch out for with stomach flu is dehydration. Dehydration can usually be prevented by replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea by drinking fluids.

You should seek the care of a healthcare provider in the following instances:

  • Not able to keep fluids down for 24 hours
  • Vomiting for more than two days
  • Vomiting blood
  • Signs of dehydration (excessive thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine, severe weakness, dizziness)
  • Blood in stools
  • Fever more than 104 F in adults or 102 F in children
  • A child that is lethargic or irritable
  • Infants without a wet diaper for six hours
  • Sunken fontanel (soft spot) in an infant
  • Children who cry without tears

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To prevent getting or spreading stomach flu, follow these recommendations:

  • Practice frequent handwashing
  • Don’t share food or drinks
  • Avoid close contact with other people that are ill
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home frequently
  • Drink only bottled water when traveling