Common Illnesses

Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE)

Acute gastroenteritis, commonly known as AGE is a sudden onset of vomiting, diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. AGE can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Sources of the illness are usually unknown. A patient can have one or all symptoms.

When vomiting, a patient can become dehydrated and lose electrolytes. Electrolytes help our bodies function, so it is very important to stop the vomiting as soon as possible. If excessive vomiting occurs, a patient usually complains of weakness, dizziness and body aches.

Diarrhea is also a symptom of AGE. Diarrhea is the way the body gets rid of the virus or bacteria. Contamination from the diarrhea is usually how AGE is passed from one person to the next. Good hand washing after each bowel movement is strongly recommended. Over the counter medication such as Imodium AD can help with symptoms, but is not a substitute for change in diet.

Wait two hours after your last episode of vomiting and slowly start clear liquids. We recommend about ¼ of a cup every 15 minutes for one hour. Advance as tolerated. Stay on clear liquid diet for 24 hours. If unable to tolerate clear liquids seek medical attention ASAP. AGE Diet:

  • Clear Liquid Diet
  • Water
  • Gatorade
  • Jell-O
  • 7up or Sprite
  • Beef or Chicken Broth (FAT FREE)

After tolerating clear liquids for 24 hours advance to the BRAT (or bland) diet. Continue with the clear liquids as well. If vomiting resumes with the BRAT diet, return to the clear liquid diet for another 24 hours. If diarrhea does not subside after 3 days after changing diet, then seek medical attention. BRAT Diet:

  • Bananas
  • Rice (white)
  • Applesauce
  • Toast
  • Crackers
  • Potato (baked or boiled)
  • No Dairy: butter, margarine, milk, cheese, ice cream, sour cream
  • No greasy or fried food. Avoid processed foods as well.
  • No fresh fruits or salads (except the banana and potato) if having diarrhea