Treating Gastroenteritis

(Stomach Flu)




  • Food or water contaminated by bacteria or parasites.
  • Viruses
  • Medication side effects.
  • Young children may get gastroenteritis when introduced to new foods.
  • Breast fed children may react to a change in the mother’s diet.


Signs and Symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Low-grade fever (sometimes)
  • Abdominal cramps


Symptoms can last from a day to a week or so depending on the cause


If you suspect gastroenteritis:

  • Don’t eat for a few hours to let your stomach settle down
  • Sip fluids, sports drinks or water are great to prevent dehydration
  • Don’t drink too much too fast as this may increase the nausea and vomiting
  • Take note of your urination. You should be urinating light, clear urine frequently. If you are passing dark colored urine infrequently this is a sign of dehydration, as is light headedness and dizziness.
  • If you are dehydrated but cannot sip enough fluids seek medical help
  • If you experience nausea try to eat small amounts of food frequently, if nausea is not present gradually begin eating easy to digest foods such as crackers, rice, chicken and bananas. Avoid fatty foods, alcohol, dairy products and nicotine
  • Get plenty of rest


See The Doctor If:

  • Vomiting lasts more than a couple of days
  • Diarrhea lasts more than a few days
  • There is blood in your Diarrhea
  • Fever is higher than 38.3 C (101 F)
  • You become light headed or faint when standing
  • You become confused
  • You have severe abdominal pain


If you suspect gastroenteritis in your child and they are breast fed, let them nurse, if they are bottle fed give regular formula.


See the Doctor If your child:

  • Is unusually drowsy
  • Begins to vomit blood
  • Has blood in their diarrhea
  • Is showing signs of dehydration, e.g. dry mouth, dry skin, crying without tears, have sunken eyes. You may notice the soft spot on top of an infants head becoming sunken and diapers that remain dry for more than three hours may also be a sign of dehydration
  • Is under 2 years of age and has a fever that lasts more than a day or is 2 years of age or older and has a fever that lasts three days or more..