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What causes stomach pain, nausea and severe diarrhea?

Answered by
Dr. Diptanshu Das


Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3720 Questions

Posted on Wed, 15 Mar 2017 in Child Health
Question: My 16 year old son got really sick last night but had a weird onset.
He said he felt stomach pain and nausea the night before last on sunday night at around 10:00pm after dinner
( he had no fever).
He woke up the next morning on monday and other than being tired seemed he felt ok and still no fever.
Today looking back he said he may have felt a little something here and there throughout the day on monday but nothing major.
After dinner monday night he got cramping and pain again that was pretty severe so we took him to the ER. while being pressed on the stomach area by ER doc he threw up several times followed by several trips to the bathroom with diarreha. He then started a fever. His gastro symptoms calmed down after the bout of throwing up and diarreha. His lab work led the doctor to believe he had gotten food poisoning and that it wasnt viral.
Hes remained better except for a fever of
101F-102.5F(it goes down with tylenol) and some lingering diarreha.
My concern is the way his onset was in an
"On and off" presentation. Is it within normal to have onset of cramping/ nausea that dies down after a few hours one day only to then ramp up again 18 hours later to finally start throwing up?
He ate ground beef on the rare side several hours before his first stomach pain on sunday which again, led ER doctor to think it was possibly E.coli.
The ER doctor prescribed bactrim to be given if he continued feeling worse today but he does seem better so we havent given it to him at this point.
What are your thoughts on this? Ive never seen this?
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Likely to be due to gastroenteritis.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. It seems that your child has an episode of gastroenteritis or food poisoning. It could be due to contaminated food or improper hand hygiene.

In any case, you need to give your child some antiemetic like ondansetron as and when needed, especially before feeds (15 min-30 min prior to feeds). The mainstay of treatment is breast milk and ORS (oral rehydration solution). Unless the lost salts and fluids are replenished the child would become dehydrated. The urine output needs to be monitored. If the frequency comes down it indicates dehydration and calls for additional supplementation of fluids. But if the child becomes lethargic you would need to take the child to a hospital without delay.

You need to be patient. The vomiting and loose stools may persist for a couple of days before it resolves. The cause does not matter. Antibiotics were not needed but since you have started, you should complete the course.

Also give curd or yogurt since it contains plenty of beneficial bacteria and should help. You need not worry. It should gradually return back to normal.

Give paracetamol or acetaminophen to bring down the temperature if it goes above 100°F. Also give tepid sponging.

Please be patient. It may take a few days for the situation to return to normal. Feel free to write back.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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