Symptom/disease

Gastroenteritis

Magsjuka - engelska

Gastroenteritis is very common and usually passes quickly. You may feel nauseated, vomit and have diarrhoea. If you have gastroenteritis, it is important that you drink more than usual.

This text deals with gastroenteritis in both children and adults.

Läs texten på svenska här.

Symptoms

If you have gastroenteritis, you may experience any of the following:

  • You feel nauseated.
  • You are vomiting.
  • You have diarrhoea.
  • You have stomach pain.
  • You have a fever.
  • Your body hurts.

Self-help tips

Drink more than usual. Try to drink frequently, a little at a time.

A young child may need to drink from a spoon. You can try ice lollies if the child does not want to drink.

Here are some more tips for gastroenteritis:

  • If a young child is sick, let them nurse or give them formula more often than usual.
  • Use rehydration tablets or sachets. This is a good idea if you are vomiting or have diarrhoea. 
  • Once the gastroenteritis has passed, you can go back to eating normal food. Start with small portions.
  • There are medicines that can stop the diarrhoea temporarily. These can be used by adults.

When and where should I seek treatment?

Most people who get gastroenteritis do not need medical care. The symptoms usually go away on their own.

Call for advice

Call 1177 for help on what to do. Your call will be answered by a nurse. If needed, they can tell you where to go for treatment.

The nurses speak Swedish and English. Help is sometimes available in other languages.

Call +46 771 11 77 00 if you are calling from a phone with a foreign number.

If urgent care is needed

You need to contact a vårdcentral (healthcare centre) for urgent care if any of the following applies:

  • A child less than six months old is vomiting and has diarrhoea.
  • The person with gastroenteritis is not taking in any fluids at all.
  • The person with gastroenteritis has blood in their vomit or faeces.
  • The person with gastroenteritis has a high fever and chills.
  • The person with gastroenteritis has a lot of stomach pain. It hurts even after the person has vomited or had diarrhoea. 

Some vårdcentral are open evenings and weekends.

If the vårdcentral is closed or cannot attend to you, you should seek care from an emergency department.

What causes gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is caused by a virus or bacteria. Winter vomiting disease (norovirus) is a common form of gastroenteritis. It is caused by a virus.

A virus can be transmitted if you are in close contact with a person who is ill. It can also be transmitted through food and drink that contains the bacteria or virus.

How to reduce your risk of getting gastroenteritis

Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of you or others gettinggastroenteritis:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Use liquid soap.
  • Keep the toilet clean.
  • Keep the changing table or any other place you change nappies clean.
  • Keep things clean when cooking. Use different knives and cutting boards for meat and vegetables.
  • Eat food that has been properly cooked.
  • Avoid cooking for other people when you have gastroenteritis.

Treatment

Most people do not need treatment. Some people who have difficulty taking in fluids may need hospital care.

If the gastroenteritis is caused by bacteria, you may need treatment with antibiotics.

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