Gastroenteritis is known commonly as an upset tummy or tummy bug. It is a very common condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting. Fever, lack of energy, and dehydration may also occur. This typically lasts less than two weeks.
Gastroenteritis is most commonly caused by viruses such as Novavirus or Rotavirus. Occasionally, bacteria, parasites, and fungus can also cause gastroenteritis.
If you have gastroenteritis, you are advised to stay at home until you’re feeling better. There is usually no specific treatment, so you have to let the illness run its course.
To help ease your symptoms:
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration – You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Take painkillers such as paracetamol for pain
- Gastroenteritis spreads very easily, so make sure you wash you hands regularly, especially after using the toilet.
- Seek medical advice if you starting seeing blood in your stools, develop a high fever or become extremely dehydrated.
Gastroenteritis in children needs to be treated with a higher degree of caution. If a child shows signs of lethargy, fever, lack of appetite or dehydration then you will need to see a doctor immediately.