Viral or bacterial gastro
Diarrhoea is the main symptom of the common stomach condition known as viral or bacterial gastro. Gastro can also cause nausea and vomiting, headaches and a mild fever. The most common causes of gastroenteritis are: food poisoning, Travellers’ Diarrhoea and Norovirus. Gastro symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and pain, bloating, loss of appetite, high temperature/fever. Symptoms usually last for a few days but some vulnerable groups, including young children, the sick and the elderly, should seek medical advice (seek medical advice if you experience fever or blood in your stool).
Gastro can also be highly infectious, so if you do get it you should try to stay at home for a few days and make sure you wash your hands regularly if you’re in contact with others.
During gastro it is advised to eat small, light meals because eating helps the lining of the intestine to heal and allows the body to regain strength. You might consider eating plain pasta, steamed fish or chicken, cooked vegetables, soups containing easy-to-digest ingredients, boiled rice and toasted bread. Drinking weak black tea, flat lemonade or just water will help to prevent or alleviate dehydration. You should avoid fruit juices that contain a lot of sugar, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. It is better to refrain from fried foods and those rich in fat, dairy products, spicy foods, and chocolate.
If you eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water, there is a good chance you will get gastro (commonly known as Travellers’ Diarrhoea). Food poisoning, or infection from drinking contaminated water, are common complaints when travelling abroad, but they can also happen when you’re at home. You should always be careful that food is cooked properly, don’t leave food lying around and wash your hands before eating.
Non infectious diarrhoea
Occasional diarrhoea is often caused by bacterial or viral infection, but it can also be the result of menstruation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (as diagnosed by your doctor), or lifestyle factors such as stress and anxiety and these factors can lead to more frequent diarrhoea. You can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of diarrhoea by taking IMODIUM®.