Ask Dr. Jen Tan

Diarrhoea and flu

Flu can often make the digestive system more sensitive


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  • Vicki's photo avatar
    Vicki — 11.04.2018 01:38
    Hi. I believe i have a cold, i have a runny/blocked nose, slight headache, cough and had body aches for about an hour. I also have a very bubbly stomach with some very small not very nice bowel movements. Only on day 2 of feeling ill. No sickness or feeling it.


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 11.04.2018 06:24
      Hello Vicki. Yes your symptoms are compatible with an acute viral infection. If you wish to take something for it, I would recommend echinacea hot drink Symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections normally last between 5 and 7 days so if these don't start to improve or worsen within this period, please seek further help locally as there could be other reasons for your symptoms.


  • Hailey's photo avatar
    Hailey — 04.04.2018 12:48
    Hello, I have had what I believe is a flu for the last 3 days. Symptoms of fatigue, bad headache and neck pain, nausea and diarrhea. In fact, the diarrhea is going into day 3 which I find worrisome as this is very abnormal for me. I am also breastfeeding my 4 week old and am feeling concerned about getting her sick as well as inadequate milk due to lack of food intake. I've been drinking lots of water and some sport drink to replenish electrolytes, and eating soup when I feel up to it. Should I be worried about the diarrhea not getting better? And about getting my infant sick?


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 06.04.2018 15:33
      Hello Hailey. I am sorry for the delay in my response. Diarrhoea appears to be a feature of the upper respiratory tract infections going round at the moment. If this is watery in nature, you will be more likely to become dehydrated and as you say, the latter won't help you feed your young child. If symptoms are not starting to improve by now, you should seek further advice from your doctor. There is of course a chance that your infant will fall ill, but for some reason, this is not as common as you would think. Seek urgent medical attention if this happens. I hope that you will feel better soon.


  • Zoe's photo avatar
    Zoe — 15.01.2018 11:11
    I've had flu for the last 9 days, have a chesty cough, blocked nose, aching all over, shortness of breath, temperature, the works. Yesterday I had sickness and today the diarrhoea has started too. How much longer should I wait before I see a Dr? Thanks


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 15.01.2018 14:26
      Hello Zoe. This is a good question. Unless you have are experiencing a complication of the viral infection, there is little your doctor can do to help. The current strain of flu leads to an illness which lasts up to and beyond 2 weeks, and also give rise to diarrhoea as you have, and other symptoms such as a persistent cough, gritty and tired eyes. See your doctor if you cough up blood or green foul smelling sputum, if you have a persistent headache, neck stiffness or if you have a high fever. Of course, if you are worried about any aspect of your health, seek help from your local doctor. Lastly, remember to keep yourself well-hydrated by drinking at least 1.5 litres of water, especially because of your diarrhoea.


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