What to Do When You Have Gastroenteritis

Did you wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you’re about to puke and poop your guts out? That could be a symptom of gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu. While the nasty symptoms usually go away within a day, most people do not need medications to feel better.

Here are tips to survive an embarrassing day of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

First Aid

While it’s important to get food in your tummy, it might not be a good idea to have a full meal if you have gastroenteritis. Stop eating for a few hours so you don’t have to keep going to the bathroom. Instead, drink more fluids to prevent dehydration. Sip water or sports drink over several hours, but avoid drinking too much all at once, you will just throw up again.

If you’re drinking enough fluids, you will have to monitor how much you urinate and what the urine looks like. Dark urine can be a sign of dehydration. Once your stomach has settled a bit, eat small amounts of food that are easy to digest. You will know if you are hungry if you’re feeling nauseous.


You should only eat bland food such as rice, chicken, banana, soda crackers, eggs, low-fat cheese, cereals, cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, low-fat fish, pasta, low-fat yogurt, and bread once you have stopped vomiting every time you put food in your mouth.

However, you need to avoid milk, any dairy product, coffee, chocolate, tea, alcoholic beverages, fatty food, seasoned food, spicy food, fruit juices, sugary food and drinks, carbonated or soft drinks, canned or packaged food, broths, fried food, dried and canned fruits, candies, ice cream, and sweet cereals. But remember that some people can tolerate broth and ginger or peppermint tea. If you do not throw it up or make your diarrhea worse, you can eat it in small amounts.


Get plenty of rest if you have a stomach flu because your body is trying to fight back whatever has caused it. The inflammation in your stomach and intestines are signs that your immune system is getting rid f the virus, parasite, or bacteria. Besides, the constant throwing up and diarrhea can leave you weak.

You need to go to a hospital if you see a bloody stool and your diarrhea and vomiting has persisted for more than two days. Monitor your fever, too, as well as the intensity of the abdominal pain and cramps. Dehydration is also considered an emergency, but most children with gastroenteritis can’t tell you that. Look for the following signs: dry skin, dry mouth, sunken eyes, and unusual thirst.

Lastly, don’t just take any medication without a doctor’s prescription. Acetaminophen is the safest relief for body pain and fever, but if you need to take medication for diarrhea or vomiting, you should consult a doctor.

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