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Diarrhea and Nausea

Diarrhea and Nausea

Diarrhea and nausea symptoms are encountered by most of us during the year, although their causative factors may vary. Nausea and diarrhea are common to conditions like food poisoning, pregnancy, diverticulitis, swine flu, appendicitis, etc.
Priya Johnson
Diarrhea and nausea are two conditions common to several medical conditions. While diarrhea is the increase in bowel movement frequency or increase in looseness of stool, nausea is the uneasiness in the stomach, preceding vomiting. Nausea does not always conduce to vomiting. Although, the occurrence of these conditions does not call for panic, these symptoms can be an indicator of a health problem in the body. Thus, diarrhea and nausea should not be overlooked.

Diarrhea and Nausea Causes

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a common condition occurring due to the ingestion of contaminated food. In most cases, the bacteria; Staphylococcus or E. coli is responsible for causing food poisoning. The most immediate symptoms of food poisoning are abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. People with food poisoning often end up dehydrated, thereby aggravating the seriousness of the matter. This long-term dehydration spearheads the feeling of nausea.


Diarrhea and nausea during pregnancy months is quite common. Approximately 50%-90% of all pregnant women experience nausea during their early pregnancy. This is because, during pregnancy the hormonal balance is not at its usual level. Diarrhea on the other hand, has nothing to do with hormones, and happens to be the outcome of ingesting all the highly nutritious food one consumes during pregnancy. The extra fluid intake may also be the reason. Some pregnant women also consume prenatal vitamins conducing to diarrhea. Nevertheless, pregnant women experiencing diarrhea must notify their gynecologists about the same.


Diverticulitis is a common digestive disease, occurring mostly in the large intestine. It features formation of pouches on the walls of the colon. Often stool gets stuck in these pouches and causes infection and inflammation. The symptoms of this condition includes abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even small amounts of blood in the stool. Antibiotics and change in diet help alleviate the symptoms.

H1N1 or Swine Flu

Since the past couple of years, the world has been battling swine flu cases on a tremendously large scale. This epidemic claimed myriads of lives across the globe. Medical teams educated people that detecting this condition in the early stages would help save lives. The symptoms listed are sore throat, cough, fatigue, runny nose, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. However, since the symptoms bear semblance to common cold symptoms, identifying it is not easy. If in doubt, get a swine flu test done.


The inflammation of the appendix (a small pouch attached to the large intestine) is called appendicitis. An early symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain, which though vague at first, tends to intensify later. Nausea, reduced appetite, vomiting and mild fever are also seen. If the appendix ruptures, the lining of the abdominal cavity gets infected and steps up the intensity of the pain. The pain is accompanied by other symptoms like constipation, shivering, fever, diarrhea and even chills.

Food Allergies

The immune systems of people suffering from food allergies, misinterpret proteins in specific foods to be deleterious foreign bodies. Thus, they release antibodies to fight these proteins, which are actually harmless. This trigger of antibodies in the bloodstream conduces to the onset of food allergy symptoms like shortness of breath, itching on the nose, mouth, eyes or skin, nausea, runny nose, swelling of eyelids, lips, face and tongue, abdominal pain, diarrhea and dizziness.

Toxic Shock Syndrome

This syndrome is caused by the toxins released into the bloodstream by certain types of Staphylococcus bacteria. Risk factors of this condition would include childbirth, use of tampons (especially for long periods of time), using vaginal sponges or barrier contraceptives, surgeries or even menstruation. The symptoms of this syndrome are redness of eyes, mouth, throat, headaches, muscle aches, low blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or even seizures. 50% of toxic shock syndrome cases are deadly.

These were only a handful conditions in which diarrhea and nausea occur simultaneously. Since, these symptoms are common to several conditions, how do we know when to rush to the doctor? Seek medical attention immediately if you have severe stomach ache, severe headache, vomiting (blood), persistent vomiting or have blood in your stool. If you've not had any urine output for 12 hours, it means you are dehydrated, so consult your health care provider immediately.