Guarding Your Gut Essential Knowledge on Vomiting and Diarrhea, and How to Safeguard Against Them

In the present scenario, every household is well-equipped with medicines. And the most common medicines found for vomiting and diarrhea. Several conditions can cause diarrhea and vomiting; the most common is viral. Intestinal infections, common food poisoning, and excessive medications can also lead to it.

Vomiting is referred to as the forceful emptying or throwing up of contents that are present in the stomach. It is normal for a person to feel nauseous before vomiting. Diarrhea refers to 3 or more watery or loose stools. It can be caused due to changes in diet.

Normally, vomiting and diarrhea are temporary symptoms and can be treated without medical treatment; however, once it becomes persistent, it can be a sign of severe medical conditions.  

Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea –

1. Gastroenteritis

As the name suggests, gastroenteritis is a stomach-related medical condition. Commonly it is known as a stomach bug or stomach flu. It refers to an intestinal infection that viruses, parasites, or bacteria can cause.

One of the most common causes of viral gastroenteritis is that the norovirus switch takes approximately 24 to 48 hours to incubate. It is highly contagious, and a person can transmit the infection before they realize its symptoms.

On average, most people recover from viral gastroenteritis in around 1-3 days. However, some viruses like adenovirus and rotavirus can last up to one to 2 weeks and are found to affect young children.

2. Food Poisoning 

Food poisoning results from eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites can also cause food poisoning. Food poisoning is often a sudden occurrence that takes 30 minutes to several weeks to develop after eating infected food.

Food poisoning can be cured without medical treatment, but older adults, children under 5 years of age, and pregnant women are more likely to develop complications.

  • Medications

Every medicine comes with its own set of side effects. Vomiting and diarrhea are also side effects of antibiotics and antacids containing magnesium.

  • Traveler’s diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea refers to a disorder in the digestive tract that occurs only when visiting a place with a relatively different climate and sanitation practices. It occurs due to bacteria, viruses, or parasites that might have entered your body through contaminated water.

  • Alcoholism

Excessive consumption of alcohol can course gastritis and hangovers the following day. Overeating: consuming large amounts of fatty and sugary food irritates the lining of the stomach and, therefore, can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Other common causes of Vomiting and diarrhea are –

  • Hangover
  • Anxiety
  • Food allergy
  • Food intolerance
  • Influenza
  • Covid-19
  • Diverticulitis
  • Appendicitis
  • Bobble obstruction
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Pancreatic cancer

Severe conditions like appendicitis, bowel obstruction Anaphylaxis, and pancreatic cancer require immediate consultation from a specialist.

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Symptoms for Various Vomiting and Diarrhea-Causing Medical Conditions –

A. Gastroenteritis: The general symptoms of gastroenteritis are:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Watery and loose stools
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • In rare cases, fever

B. Food poisoning: The most common symptoms of food poisoning involve:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

C. Hangover: After excessive alcoholism, a person suffers from a hangover. 

Its symptoms involve:

  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

D. Pancreatic Cancer: It is a severe condition that has the following sets of symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Greasy stools
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness

Treatment of Vomiting and Diarrhea –

A person may not need medical treatment if the vomiting and diarrhea are temporary. For example, hangover anxiety, gastroenteritis, or food poisoning symptoms can be cured by themselves over time.

It is advised to consult a healthcare provider before taking medications to cure vomiting and diarrhea. They can be dangerous for children and people who get blood in their stools. Once the person can tolerate liquids again, it is recommended to replace lost fluids very gradually; they can start drinking sips of clear liquids like herbal tea, diluted apple juice, oral rehydration solutions, or broth.

Home remedies are an excellent help to reduce the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Das a person can try the following –

  • Drinking ginger tea
  • Sucking peppermint candies
  • Taking zinc supplements can help reduce the duration of diarrhea by 25%
  • Taking an oral rehydration solution
  • Try sucking ice cubes or icy poles
  • Regularly take small amounts of water to prevent dehydration
  • Try to eat bland foods

Prevention of Vomiting and Diarrhea –

It is impossible to prevent all the causes of vomiting and diarrhea. However, it can reduce the chances of developing gastroenteritis or food poisoning. It is therefore recommended to practice the following habits to prevent diarrhea and vomiting –

  • Washing hands
  • Keeping the kitchen surface clean
  • rinsing food and vegetable before preparing them
  • eat properly cooked food
  • refrigerating perishable food within 2 hours after use
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or take recreational drugs
  • Do not take too much alcohol, carbonated drinks or eat spicy food.

Ayurvedic signs claim that a person can prevent diarrhea and vomiting by spending time with Mother Nature. For example, walking on grass early morning helps the body lose excessive heat and build a stronger immune system to fight common symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

When to Seek Help from a Doctor?

A person should seek immediate medical health hey vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than a week and if they have the following conditions:

  • See blood or pus in their stools
  • Black or tarry stools next high fever
  • Pause 6 or more than 6 loose stools per day
  • Have severe stomach or rectal pain
  • Lack of energy and sudden irritation
  • Severe pain or cramps in the abdomen
  • Blood environment next abdominal swelling
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are 60 years old or above

There are several potential causes of vomiting and diarrhea, but the most common are viruses, food poisoning, and excessive medications. If these symptoms are too frequent add occur after every meal, a person may have a food intolerance or allergy. An easy cure for vomiting and diarrhea can start with drinking fluids to replace the lost fluids, and to prevent the same; one can easily rely on home remedies and Ayurveda.

Conclusion –

Even though vomiting and diarrhea can be cured without medical attention, some causes are more severe. Excessive pain symptoms of dehydration and chronic vomiting or diarrhea with blood spots should be reported to a doctor immediately.

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