Gastroenteritis: the sickness and diarrhoea bug symptoms and treatment


What to do if you get a sickness bug AND the trots at the same time.

By Dr Roger Henderson

Struck down by sickness and diarrhoea? Gastroenteritis is a common condition usually caused by a bacterial or viral tummy bug that results in a bad stomach and vomiting. While gastroenteritis can be undeniably unpleasant, the good news is it usually clears up within a week. But what are the causes, how do you treat it and when should you seek urgent medical assistance?

GP Dr Roger Henderson looks at the common symptoms, causes and treatment options for gastroenteritis:

What is gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is an infection of the bowel and is sometimes called a tummy bug, food poisoning, the trots, traveller’s diarrhoea or stomach flu. It’s very common, with about 20 per cent of people in the UK being affected every year, although for most people this is mild and self-limiting and does not require medical attention.

The infection – whether viral or bacterial – irritates the lining of the stomach and gut making the bowel muscles tighten, which in turn triggers vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Depending on the type of bug involved and its severity, symptoms can occur from an hour to several days after getting infected.

Net Doctor


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