When bacteria or viruses cause your stomach and/or intestines to become inflamed, this is known as gastroenteritis and causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

It’s a fairly common condition and often occurs in young children. In adults, the most typical cause is food poisoning (where harmful bacteria gets into your gut) and the norovirus. In children, the condition is usually caused by a virus known as the rotavirus.

Gastroenteritis tends to clear up by itself within a week, but it can be very unpleasant to deal with in the meantime.

The rapid loss of fluids from vomiting and diarrhoea can also cause dehydration, so it’s important to take in plenty of fluids to replace those that you’ve lost.

It’s usually recommended that you don’t visit your GP when you have the symptoms of gastroenteritis - since it can be highly contagious.

Since you can connect with our doctors from the comfort of your own home, you can use Push Doctor to get a firm handle on the cause of your problems and if needed, get prescription medication to help you get better.

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Some of the most common symptoms of gastroenteritis include: 

  • Vomiting and projectile vomiting
  • Feeling like you’re going to be sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss

If you experience other symptoms in addition to these (like a high temperature), it’s best to see a doctor as soon as you can, as this could be a sign of a more serious issue like appendicitis.

Onset: Usually within 24 hours

Gastroenteritis usually sets in within a day of becoming infected. In addition to the above symptoms, others experience a lack of appetite, pains in their limbs and headaches.

Recovery: Usually under a week

Symptoms usually clear up within a week, but may last a little longer in some cases. However, if your symptoms persist or become worse - consult with a doctor.

The most common ways to deal with short-term gastroenteritis include:
  • Drink lots of fluids so you do not get dehydrated
  • Rest up and regain some energy
  • If you get any aches or pains, take paracetamol
If you are unsure about what to do or your symptoms last more than a week you can ask one of our GPs over video chat for advice.