Diarrhea

Signs and symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramping and/or pain
  • Fever may or may not be present
  • Frequent loose or watery stools
  • Discomfort with eating
  • Dehydration from losing too much fluid

 

Treatment suggestions:

  • Over the counter medicines such as Pepto-Bismol and Imodium products (be aware that Pepto-Bismol use can cause stools to become dark/black in appearance)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever and aches. Avoid Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) products.
  • Sip clear liquids such as ginger ale, water, Pedialyte, or soup broth
  • Bland diet In small amounts as tolerated for 24-48 hours after last vomiting episode (foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, jello, crackers, chicken noodle soup)
  • Avoid alcohol, greasy foods, dairy products, citrus juice
  • Replace your toothbrush after recuperation from sickness

 

When to Visit Student Health Services:

  • Unable to keep liquids or food down for 24 hours
  • Fever and/or more severe abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days (unless you have recently traveled out of the country or recently been taking antibiotics, as then scheduling an appointment at Student Health Services is recommended as soon as possible)
  • Dehydration symptoms: lightheadedness, decreased urination, passing out, dizziness
  • Bloody diarrhea or vomit
  • Insulin dependent diabetic with vomiting and/or diarrhea

 

Prevention Tips:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, may use a hand sanitizer when soap and water not immediately available
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Don’t share eating utensils, drinks, toothbrushes
  • Clean surfaces that may have been touched by others that are ill such as phones, keyboards, doorknobs, toilets, etc.