When diarrhea and vomiting occur together, the patient tends to feel extremely weak. This way the body tries to eliminate the unwanted substances present in the gastrointestinal tract. Other accompanying symptoms observed in this condition are nausea, abdominal pain, fever, dizziness, loss of appetite, etc. If a large amount of water is lost in the process, then the patients get dehydrated.
The main cause behind this ailment is an infection in the gastrointestinal tract. When it is a viral infection, it is called viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu and it leads to inflammation in the lining of the stomach and intestines. This is a highly contagious disease where the virus can get transmitted from direct or indirect contact with an infected person. These patients can start spreading the virus from the moment they are infected and would continue to do so until they have not recovered completely.
This can happen due to food poisoning after a person consumes spoiled food or impure water. Once the bacteria present in the contaminated food substance enters the digestive tract, it attacks its cells and causes infection there. Vomiting and diarrhea after eating could be symptoms of food allergy. In this case, the body wrongly assumes any particular component of the food as potentially harmful. As a result, when that food is taken, an allergic reaction is triggered and one gets diarrhea. Side effects of some medicines, overeating, excessive intake of alcohol, change in diet, head injury, mental stress are some of the other factors that can be held responsible for this problem.
Basically, there is no medicinal treatment, particularly when it is caused by some virus as antibiotics do not work on them. In this condition, the first thing that needs to be done is to stop consumption of any solid food for the next two to four hours. Thus the stomach will get adequate rest. The patient should also suspend all activities and take proper rest. Now, the main aim of the treatment is to prevent any further loss of fluids. You also have to replenish the lost fluids with the help of oral rehydrating solution. The solution can be prepared by adding half teaspoon of table salt and baking soda and four tablespoons of table sugar in four cups of plain water. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and drink this solution in small sips after every few minutes.
As you start feeling better, take larger quantity of this fluid. When the condition improves further in the next few hours, start taking other clear fluids like plain water, flat soda, clear broth, weak tea, apple juice, etc. However, caffeine, alcohol and citrus juices should be avoided as they aggravate stomach problems. Once you find that these liquids are well tolerated by the body, some bland foods like banana, rice, applesauce, dry toast and soda crackers can be taken. Even after both the symptoms subside, do not take any spicy foods or dairy products for the next one week. This is because such food tend to cause irritation in the digestive tract and trigger diarrhea.
In those cases, where it continues for more than 24 hours despite the dietary restrictions mentioned above, the patient should be taken to the doctor. They will identify the cause and carry out the treatment accordingly. For instance, patients suffering from bacterial infection are given antibiotics and those with food allergies are given allergy medicines. Similarly, if signs of dehydration like dry mouth, sticky saliva, excessive thirst, little urine, etc. show up at any point of time, then also doctor should be consulted and the patient may require administration of intravenous fluids.