Diarrhea & Vomiting

Physicians: Russell L. Wavrin, M.D., Mary Anne Jacob, M.D., Juan C. Angelats, M.D., Daniel T. Chow, M.D., Jennifer L. Schwab, M.D., Paige E. Persch, M.D.

Certified Nurse Practitioners: Jaimi L. Anderson, APRN, CNP, Vicki I. Buth, APRN, CNP, Heidi Helleck-Sprang, APRN, CNP, Shirley J. Jarcho, APRN, CNP

Diarrhea and/or vomiting may be caused by such things as food allergies, food poisoning, certain medications and some diseases and infections.

Intestinal flu is probably the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea. Other flu symptoms include chills, fever, backache and weakness. We generally do not recommend medications to stop vomiting or diarrhea, as most intestinal flu is self-limiting and lasts only 24 hours. Treatment involves resting the GI tract for a short period of time. You may rest assured that both you and your baby will do fine with limited food and fluid intake for one day.

Dietary instructions for treatment of vomiting

  1. You should have nothing by mouth for one-half (1/2) hour after the last episode of vomiting.
  2. During the following two hours, take one tablespoon (1 T.) of ice chips or water every fifteen (15) minutes, if desired.
  3. If this is retained, try small amounts (1 ounce) of clear liquids for two (2) hours. Allowable fluids are water, 7-Up, ginger ale, weak tea, bullion, popsicles, Jell-O, apple juice and Gatorade. No milk or dairy products. If tolerated, gradually increase the amount of liquids until your thirst is satisfied.
  4. After 12-24 hours, you may progress to a soft, bland diet. This is sometimes called a “white diet” and includes such foods as boiled white rice, white bread or toast, saltine crackers, boiled or mashed potatoes, baked or broiled chicken or turkey without skin and pasta without sauce.

Dietary instructions for treatment of diarrhea

  1. Go on a BRAT diet for 24/48 hours. This is bananas, rice (white), applesauce and toast (dry, white).
  2. Drink lots of clear liquids, as directed under “vomiting treatment”
  3. No milk or dairy products for 72 hours

When to call the office

  • If you have severe abdominal pain
  • If you have more than 10 stools or vomit more than 10 times per day
  • If you have blood in the stool or vomitus
  • If you have symptoms of preterm labor. Intestinal cramps are usually relieved with the passage of stool. Contractions, on the other hand, continue and cause the uterus to “ball up” or become firm.
  • If you have vaginal bleeding or symptoms of ruptured membranes
  • If you have been on a clear liquid diet for vomiting or a BRAT diet for diarrhea for at least 24 hours and your symptoms have not improved
  • If your temperature is over 100.4 degrees F., two times, 6 hours apart