Diarrhoea & vomiting
Diarrhoea is passing looser or more frequent stoolsthan is normal for you. It affects most people from time to time and is usually nothing to worry about.
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the gut. It causes diarrhoea, and may also cause vomiting, abdominal pain and other symptoms. In most cases the infection clears over several days, but sometimes takes longer. The main risk is dehydration. The main treatment is to have lots to drink which aims to avoid dehydration. You should also eat as normally as possible. Find out when to see a doctor.
Diarrhoea can be acute (sudden onset and lasts less than four weeks) or chronic (persistent). This leaflet deals with acute diarrhoea, which is common. In most cases, diarrhoea eases and goes within several days, but sometimes takes longer. The main risk is dehydration.
Nausea and vomiting in adults is not usually a sign of anything serious and tends to only last one or two days. Vomiting is the body’s way of ridding itself of harmful substances from the stomach, or it may be a reaction to something that has irritated the gut.
Nausea is the feeling of wanting to be sick. Nausea and vomiting may be due to drinking too much alcohol, food poisoning or a tummy bug (viral infection). But you should get medical advice if you vomit repeatedly for more than 48 hours or feel unwell or weak.