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There isn’t a particular diet you need to follow. When you’re ready to start eating, you may prefer to start with bland foods and avoid anything fatty or spicy. Aim to get back to your normal diet as soon as you can. If you don’t feel like eating, the most important thing is to keep your fluids up. See our section on self-help for more information about diet.
The main symptoms of gastroenteritis include diarrhoea and feeling or being sick. These usually come on suddenly. You may also get tummy pains or cramps and have other symptoms such as a fever. Most people feel better within a week. See our section on symptoms to find out more.
Most people have a mild illness and start to feel better after a few days. Most people find their symptoms have gone within a week. But sometimes the condition may last for longer. It can depend on exactly what’s causing your gastroenteritis and if you have any health conditions that can make it more serious.
Viral infections are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the UK. The winter vomiting bug (norovirus) is the most common type of viral gastroenteritis. Bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella can also cause gastroenteritis, as can parasites. See our section on causes for more information.
There are lots of ways to catch gastroenteritis. Viral gastroenteritis is contagious. You can catch it from someone who’s infected if you encounter particles of poo or vomit. You can also catch it by eating food or drinking water contaminated with viruses, bacteria or parasites. See our section on causes to find out more.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
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