Tummy Troubles Around the Holidays

Tummy Troubles “My husband was great and cooked dinner for me tonight.  Now I have diarrhea and stomach cramps and it feels terrible!  Do I have to go to the hospital?”

It is holiday season time — time for good food and family fun! Here is a frequent phone call I get during this time of year:  “My husband was great and cooked dinner for me tonight. Now I have diarrhea and stomach cramps, and I feel terrible! Do I have to go to the hospital?”

You laugh, but it happens. Your hubby, mother or mother-in-law cooks dinner, and it is OK going in but afterwards — look out! So what do you do if you have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?

Nausea/Vomiting: If mild, you can stop eating and try ice chips. The colder the item, the easier it seems to sit on the stomach. If you hold down ice chips OK, then sip ice water. If that stays down, try a BRAT diet. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Eat bland foods like that until you are not vomiting for at least 12 hours. Then slowly add in other foods. If nausea and vomiting continue, call your doctor for a medicine called Zofran, which can help with the nausea. If all else fails and you cannot even keep down ice chips, go to the hospital. Sometimes you just need some IV fluids to make you feel better.

Diarrhea: Yuck! This can come as soft and frequent or watery and nasty.  With either, you need to stay well-hydrated with water and Gatorade. A BRAT diet is a good idea until things slow down. It is also OK to take an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicine (like Imodium) as well.

The big concern with nausea and vomiting and diarrhea in pregnancy is dehydration, which can sometimes cause contractions.  If this is the case, rest and rehydrate.  Water and Gatorade are really good ideas.  If the contractions continue or worsen, go to the hospital. Often, IV fluids stop the contractions and make you feel better.

Dr. April Merritt grew up in the Charleston, South Carolina area and attended the College of Charleston where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.  She graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina and became a Doctor of Medicine in 2004.  Dr. Merritt trained in the Orlando Health OB/GYN Residency Program, graduating in 2008.  After graduation, she joined Delaney OB/GYN, a division of Women’s Care Florida.

Dr. Merritt is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  She has a number of published research papers.  She also plans to become certified in robotic surgery.

Dr. Merritt enjoys writing, scrapbooking, and outdoor activities with her two children.

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