You have gastroenteritis. This is a common viral illness. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and a slight fever. Most of the time viral gastroenteritis clears up in 2-3 days with bed rest and a clear liquid diet.

If you are not vomiting. you can start on small sips of water every 20-30 minutes; gradually increase this to 1-2 cups every hour as tolerated. You can then try sodas, Gatorade, broth, and jello if your cramps and nausea are better. Try crackers and dry toast as your symptoms improve. Stay away from milk and dairy products, alcohol, and drugs that upset your stomach for the next week.

Gastroenteritis is bard to tell from food poisoning. If other members of your family also become ill, check with your caregiver or the health department. Wash your hands well to avoid spreading any bacteria (germ) or virus.

Seek Immediate Medical Care If:

  • There is a fainting episode.
  • You or your child are unable to keep fluids down.
  • Signs of dehydration including, dry mucous membranes of the mouth, no tears from the eyes, decreased  urination or less wetting of diapers are present.
  • Abdominal pain develops, increases or localizes. (Right sided pain can be appendicitis and left sided pain in  adults can be diverticulitis).
  • You or your child develop a high fever (an oral temperature above 102° F (38.90 C) for over 3 days,
  • Diarrhea becomes excessive or contains blood or mucous.
  • Lethargy or confusion develops.
  • The amount of urine decreases.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea persists more than 48 hours.
  • Excessive weakness, dizziness, fainting or extreme thirst develops.

Document Released: 12/18/2006 Document Re-Released: 10/14/2008
ExitCare® Patient Information ©2009 ExitCare, LLC.