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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have been suffering past 4 days with a bad

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have been suffering for the past 4 days with a bad tummy bug. My symtons have varied from diarrhea, cramps, no energy and headaches. I have taken Diorlyte and Milk of Magnesia. I'm also drinking a lot of water. I still don't feel 100% (day 5 today) but have more energy today that previously in the week. I was wondering should I go to a doctor to get something stronger or what is the normal period of time for a bug/virus to clear through your body?
Thank you
Ciara
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

The duration of a viral gastroenteritis can vary significantly. It will usually last 2-3 days, but a small percentage will last 7-10 days. Continuing to have symptoms at 5 days is not worrisome, of itself. Whether it is important to be seen would depend upon whether there are any signs of dehydration, such as lightheadedness, lower blood pressure, an increased heart rate, or significantly decreased urine output. If these are not present, then it would be OK to continue to manage this at home.

There is a stronger medicine that may help with the diarrhea - Imodium. The Milk of Magnesia may actually make the diarrhea worse, but the Imodium would typically work better. However, you are already doing the most important intervention, which is assuring a good amount of fluid intake, and fluids with electrolytes, such as the Dioralyte, is better at improving hydration.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, that has been most helpful. I don't think I'm lightheaded but have headaches. Can I take paracetamol for these in addition to that medication you have suggested?
Also, I forgot to mention that I haven't really eaten in 4 days, no appetite. Is that normal and what food would be good that wouldn't further upset my stomach?
Many thanks
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it would be fine to take paracetamol along with the above interventions.

It is common to lose your appetite during these infections. It is actually not as important that you eat, although it is critical that you drink.It is fine to wait until your appetite returns before trying to resume solid foods. When you get to that point, the best foods to try first is the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, apples, and toast (or crackers). Note that apple juice may be tolerated well by an upset stomach, but the relatively high level of pectin can make diarrhea worse. It is also important to note that dairy products also may not be well tolerated because of the lactose. Even people that generally have no problems with lactose intolerance may have difficulty when recovering from a gastroenteritis.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Great thanks so much for your help.

Ciara

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome.

If I have answered all your questions, please remember to provide a positive rating so that I am credited for assisting you.
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18199
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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