When to seek medical help in acute gastroenteritis

Dear Ask The Doctor:  My husband had heartburn all day on sunday and than had vomiting in the evening with a low grade fever. then he was up all last night with diarrhea. Is this just a bug 
Dear Patient:  From the acute onset of symptoms you describe, your husband may have inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract or gastroenteritis. This is usually infective in origin, especially with common viruses and bacteria. It is usually self-limited and will run its own course, but can be complicated by dehydration. Treatment involves oral rehydration therapy with fluid and electrolyte solutions which are available in most drug-stores. If symptoms are not improving, or your husband cannot tolerate oral fluids, I would advise attending your family doctor as he may require intravenous fluids and anti-nausea medication.

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