Student Health Center

Healthy You @ RSUJanuary 2008

Tips for Managing: Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea


Nausea is a very unpleasant feeling in the pit of the stomach. A person who is nauseated may feel weak and sweaty and produce lots of saliva. Intense nausea often leads to vomiting, which forces stomach contents up the esophagus and out of the mouth.


  • After vomiting has stopped for 1 hour, drink 1 ounce of clear liquid every 20 minutes for 1 hour. Clear liquids include apple or grape juice mixed to half strength with water, rehydration drinks, weak tea with sugar, clear broth, and gelatin dessert. Avoid citrus juices.
  • If vomiting lasts for more than 24 hours, continue to drink a rehydration drink to restore lost fluids and nutrients.
  • When you are feeling better, begin eating clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all symptoms have been gone for 12 to 48 hours. Gelatin dessert, dry toast, crackers, and cooked cereal are good choices.
  • REST in bed until you are feeling better!


Diarrhea occurs when the intestines do not allow the water to be absorbed by the body from the stool. This causes bowel movements to occur more frequently and stools to become watery and loose. There may also be abdominal cramps and nausea.


  • Don’t eat any food for several hours or until you are feeling better. Take frequent; small sips of water or a rehydration drink.
  • Avoid antidiarrheal drugs for the first 6 hours after that, use them only if there are no other signs of illnesses, such as fever, cramping or discomfort, or bloody stools. Stop taking antidiarrheal medications after stools thicken.
  • After first 24 hours, begin eating mild foods, such as rice, dry toast or crackers, bananas, and applesauce. Avoid spicy foods, any other fruits, alcohol, and caffeine drinks until 48 hours after symptoms have disappeared. Avoid dairy products for 3 days.