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What is infectious diarrhea?

Diarrhea is the main symptom of a common stomach condition known as viral or bacterial gastroenteritis, which is an infection of the stomach and intestines, affecting one in five people every year. 

What other symptoms can occur?

Other symptoms of infectious diarrhea can include nausea, vomitting, headache and mild fever. Symptoms usually pass in a few days.

What causes infectious diarrhea? 

The most common causes of gastroenteritis are:

• Food poisoning. If you get gastroenteritis, you might put it down to food poisoning. You should always be careful that food is cooked properly, you don’t leave food lying around and you wash your hands before eating.

• Travellers’ diarrhea. If you get gastroenteritis when abroad, it might be what’s called travellers’ diarrhea, which can be caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It can also be down to eating unfamiliar rich or spicy foods or by exposure to new types of bacteria.

• Norovirus. Sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus is one of the biggest viral causes of gastroenteritis and a common cause of diarrhea and vomiting. 

How to prevent infectious diarrhea

Gastroenteritis can be highly contagious. Go to our Managing Your Digestive Health area for ways to avoid picking up or spreading the infection.

How to treat diarrhea

If you have infectious diarrhea, don’t hesitate to treat it. IMODIUM® works in harmony with your body to help restore its natural rhythm. You shouldn’t think it’s better to let diarrhea run its course or ‘flush’ your system of bacteria. Diarrhea is not a defence mechanism that works to fight infection - your immune system does that - but a symptom of disruption to your digestion. When left to run its course, diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can make you feel even worse when you’re under the weather, so it’s best to treat it early. 

Find out more about IMODIUM®

Got a stomach bug?

Find out what causes gastroenteritis and how to avoid it.

IMODIUM® Capsules are proven and trusted for stopping diarrhea.

IMODIUM® Instants dissolve instantly on your tongue, so they’re perfect for when you’re on the go.

Where to buy IMODIUM®

It’s easy to find IMODIUM® in pharmacies. You don’t need a prescription, so you can buy it over the counter.