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Diarrhoea and Vomiting can happen individually or together. Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu) is the most common cause of both and is an infection that is a result of consuming food that is contaminated or it can also be a result of coming into contact with someone who has the infection (HSE, 2016).
- Vomiting – Usually lasts between 6 – 12 hours
- Diarrhoea – Usually last for 24 – 48 hours
There is no exact cure for either as both these illnesses will run their course. You should start to feel a little better within 2-5 days of the onset of either diarrhoea/ vomiting. With diarrhoea it can take up to 5 days for it to clear. Remember it’s important to drink lots of fluids to ensure you don’t become dehydrated.
What can I do if I am Vomiting?
- Stay at home and wash your hands often to prevent the illness spreading to others.
- Try to leave at least a six hour gap to eat from your last vomiting episode.
- Ensure to stay hydrated by drinking fluids, or oral re hydration solutions that are available from your local pharmacy.
- Try to not to go to college/ work until 12 hours after your last vomiting episode.
When to see your doctor
- If your vomiting last longer than 12 hours
- If you see blood in your vomit
- If your tummy hurts and you have abdominal pain along with your vomiting
- If you can’t manage to keep them down the fluids you drink
- If you have regular medication to take and you cannot take it as a result of vomiting
- If you are feeling worried about your vomiting
- If you think you might be pregnant.
What can I do if I have Diarrhoea
- Ensure to stay at home for 48 hours after the episode of diarrhoea has stopped
- Ensure to wash your hands often to prevent the illness spreading to others
- With diarrhoea you can still eat. Try to stick to foods that contain starch such as toast, rice , chicken or fish
- Avoid dairy products, fruit and vegetables until your episode of diarrhoea ends
- Avoid taking anti-diarrheal medication except in extreme emergencies (e.g. travel), as it will stop the symptoms you’re are experiencing, and can also prolong the duration of the illness.
When to see your doctor
- If your diarrhoea lasts longer than 48 hours
- If you see blood in your diarrhoea
- If your tummy hurts and you have an abdominal pain along with your diarrhoea
- If you have returned from travelling abroad recently
- If you have regular medication to take and you cannot take it as a result of vomiting.
Remember if you vomit within 2/3 hours of taking any medicines (including your contraceptive pill) or you have severe diarrhoea, you may need to take another dose.
Contact the Student Health Services for advise on this, make an appointment at reception to see the nurse today.