Symptoms of Vomiting and Diarrhea

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Vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms of other conditions, ranging from viral infections, food poisoning, head injury and neurological conditions. Because children are so vulnerable to illness, they develop intestinal illnesses with these symptoms more frequently than adults. Pregnant women in the first trimester may develop morning sickness and vomit. Roughly 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women experience nausea, with 25 to 55 percent of these women actually vomiting, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Viral Infections

Viral stomach infections are the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Viral gastroenteritis’ main symptoms are watery diarrhea and vomiting with fever, headache, chills and abdominal pain.

The most common viral infections include adenovirus, which is most common in children under two years of age.Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. Rotavirus causes more cases of diarrhea in children ages 3 to 15 months old and is the most common cause of diarrhea in children under 5 years of age. Symptoms of this virus include vomiting and watery diarrhea. Patients also develop abdominal pain and fever.

Astrovirus primarily infects the elderly, young children and infants and is most prevalent during winter months. Those who develop this virus come down with vomiting and diarrhea. Another viral stomach infection, calicivirus, affects people of all ages. The most common of these is the norovirus, occurring most frequently from October through April. People who are infected with norovirus develop symptoms of fatigue, headache, vomiting, diarrhea and, occasionally, muscle aches, according to the NDDIC.


Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and bowel, according to the Health Guide Index. One of several illnesses can cause an infection – parasites, bacteria and viruses.

Food poisoning germs like salmonella, campylobacter and shigella, are spread in food that has been contaminated by exposure from someone carrying the germs. Other germs are water-borne and include amoebas and giardia. Stomach viruses are highly contagious and are easily spread when one person who is infected with a stomach virus doesn’t wash hands after using the restroom. Stomach viruses are also spread when healthy persons use utensils and glasses used by someone who is sick, according to the NDDIC.

The most common symptoms of these illnesses are vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms can include fever, body aches, stomach cramps and fatigue.

These illnesses can be caused by transmission of the bacteria, virus or parasite.

Other Causes

Other causes of vomiting and diarrhea include blocked intestine, motion sickness, pregnancy, migraine, head injury and appendicitis.

More serious illnesses can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These include heart attacks, central nervous system disorders, brain tumors, kidney and liver disorders and some cancers, according to the Cleveland Clinic.


Viral Gastroenteritis

What is Gastroenteritis?

Nausea and Vomiting