Gastrointestinal Symptoms Of Covid
COVID-19 has a long list of potential symptoms, such as sore throat, fever, congestion, headache, and fatigue. A December 2021 study published in JAMA found that a little over one-third of kids with COVID-19 also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms. These can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, says Jonathan Maynard, M.D., a pediatrician with Providence Mission Hospital in Southern California.
What’s more, some children with COVID-19 only have GI symptoms, adds José Mayorga, M.D., Executive Director of UCI Health Family Health Center. He has seen this among his patients and his own children. “It actually happened in my own family,” he shares. “One of my daughter’s had the classic upper respiratory infection, the other one had stomach issues. They both tested positive for COVID.”
Is It A Stomach Bug Or Covid
GI symptoms are common in people who have COVID-19. Should you take a COVID test if you have gastric distress?
Say your kids bring home a tummy bug and now everyone in your family feels tethered to the toilet. Should you test for COVID-19?
Yes, says Brian Lacy, MD, PhD, a gastroenterologist and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. We understand that COVID can affect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, abdominal fullness or pressure, bloating, and diarrhea. In fact, there are more COVID receptors in the GI tract than in the lungs. We now recognize that a COVID infection is one cause of persistent diarrhea. We also now recognize that COVID is shed from the GI tract.
While hand-washing wont stop the coronavirus from spreading via coughs or sneezes, it can make a big difference in stopping the spread when it is present in the GI tract.
When someone doesnt wash their hands well or theres fecal matter trapped under the fingernails, it may carry a viral load that can easily spread to other people, says Rabia De Latour, MD, a gastroenterologist and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. Thats why we see a high prevalence of COVID-related GI symptoms among children.
When To Treat Vomiting And Diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea can be extremely unpleasant and cause a significant amount of discomfort. In most cases, however, the symptoms do not point towards any severe health concern. Although, there are certain times when vomiting and diarrhea need to be treated by a medical professional to ensure the symptoms do not worsen or last for longer than necessary.
While most cases of vomiting and diarrhea are minor and not a cause for concern, it is essential to keep a close eye on the symptom and come in for a visit to our urgent care facility in the event the symptoms start to cause a severe level of discomfort or last for more than a day or two.
While preventing the onset of vomiting and diarrhea is ideal, it is not always practical, and many of the causes of vomiting and diarrhea are simply unpredictable. Subsequently, knowing what signs are a cause for concern and seeking medical assistance when they present themselves is crucial to making a full, speedy recovery.
If you or your child suffer from vomiting and diarrhea that is concerning or lasts for more than several days, be sure to come in for a visit or give us a call to find out the cause of your vomiting and diarrhea and adequately manage the symptoms while they last.
Questions to AskYour Urgent Care Provider
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Diarrhea And Other Gastrointestinal Symptoms Of Covid
Some people with COVID-19 develop gastrointestinal symptoms either alone or with respiratory symptoms.
Recently, researchers at Stanford University found that a third of patients they studied with a mild case of COVID-19 had symptoms affecting the digestive system.
Another published by researchers in Beijing found that anywhere from 3 to 79 percent of people with COVID-19 develop gastrointestinal symptoms.
What Is Diarrhoea Like In Covid
Even though diarrhoea is a less well-known symptom of COVID-19, it affects a reasonable proportion of people during their illness.
Having COVID-19 diarrhoea alongside many other symptoms is associated with an increased risk of needing hospital support.
Diarrhoea caused by COVID-19 is similar to the upset tummy you might get from a regular stomach bug, such as rotavirus or norovirus. Diarrhoea is common in children and adults and usually clears up by itself.
We think COVID-19 causes diarrhoea because the virus can invade cells in the gut and disrupt its normal function.
COVID-19 can be transmitted through poo and contaminated surfaces or hands. Itâs critically important to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly clean bathrooms if you, anyone you live with, or someone youâre caring for has diarrhoea, to prevent the infection spreading.
Is It Possible To Have Diarrhea With No Fever
Some people may experience diarrhea without other flu-like symptoms, like a fever. Diarrhea can be the first symptom of COVID-19.
In some cases, flu symptoms may come on after diarrhea. Some people may only experience gastrointestinal symptoms without developing any of the more common symptoms.
Research suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19 can enter your digestive system through cell surface receptors for an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 . Receptors for this enzyme are 100 times more common in the gastrointestinal tract than the respiratory tract.
increased risk of developing some types of viral infections.
However, research hasnât yet found that people with IBD are more likely to develop COVID-19 than people without IBD.
New information about COVID-19 is emerging rapidly. As researchers collect more data, itâs possible that research will find that having IBD does increase your risk for developing COVID-19.
According to at an IBD center in Milan, people with IBD should take extra precautions to avoid the virus. These include:
- frequent handwashing
- covering your face when coughing and sneezing
- avoiding people with flu-like symptoms
- staying at home when possible
If you have IBD and have tested positive for COVID-19, speak to your doctor about whether you should stop taking certain medications.
Diarrhea And Transmission Of Covid
According to the CDC, aerosol and droplet-based routes are the main means of transmission of COVID-19. The agency highlights that COVID-19 can be spread by touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.
Researchers have in order to understand whether feces genuinely contributes to virus transmission. It is well established that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be traced in the feces of those with the virus and has been found in untreated wastewater . It is important to follow the CDC’s guidelinesfor proper disinfection of your home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including diarrhea.
“With many viruses, the fecal matter needs to be taken into consideration,” explained Niket Sonpal, MD, Board Certified NYC Internist, and Gastroenterologist. “This is part of the reason why, when possible, a sick person should be using a different bathroom from others inside their home. If this is not possible, while it may be tedious, the CDC says it is in everyone’s best interest for the sick person to disinfect the bathroom after using it to avoid other members of the family becoming infected through bodily fluids.” That’s, of course, in conjunction with the other preventive tips from the CDC, which include getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, keeping a safe distance from those who are sick, and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces.
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What Is Long Covid
Most people with coronavirus feel better within a few days or weeks of their first symptoms and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, symptoms can last longer.
This is called long COVID or post COVID-19 syndrome. Long COVID is a new condition which is still being studied.
You can find more information to support your recovery on theYour COVID Recovery website.
Other Common Causes Of Diarrhea
Of course, diarrhea can be related to many other conditions aside from COVID-19 and the flu. Unexpected diarrhea can be a result of a change in medication, food that has expired or that youre intolerant to, drinking too much alcohol, feeling stressed, heavy exertion or exercises like running, and a variety of other scenarios. If youre experiencing diarrhea without any other symptoms, then theres a good chance that it is not due to COVID-19. However, this doesnt mean that you should ignore your bowel issues.
Frequent diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration, so its important that you take the right precautions and rehydrate. Common signs of dehydration to look out for include excess thirst, lack of urination, dry mouth, dry skin, weakness, dizziness, and dark urine.
Water is a good way to replace fluids following diarrhea, but it doesnt contain salts and electrolytesminerals such as sodium and potassiumthat are essential for your body to rehydrate and function. Because of this, you should also try to consume beverages like fruit juices and sports drinks for potassium or broths for sodium. Since many fruit juices and sports drinks contain large amounts of sugar, you can consider mixing them with water. Make sure to contact your primary care physician before adjusting your diet while experiencing GI symptoms certain fruit juices, such as apple juice, can make diarrhea worse.
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Are Some People More Susceptible To Gi Symptoms Than Others
Dr. Spiegel said that he did not know of any particular population that was more susceptible to COVID-related GI symptoms, but added that there is debate within the professional community about whether there should be increased concern for patients who do not have acid in their GI system. Otherwise, research has focused on the gut microbiomes role in tamping down inflammation that runs from the gut to the lungs. New research suggests there is an axis of communication where intestinal microbial communities have a profound effect on lung disease, according to an analysis in the February 2020 Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.
An October 2021 review in Frontiers in Immunology looked into the possibility that targeted therapy for the gut microbiome can prevent the leaky gut phenomenon that allows bacteria to permeate the lining of the intestine and enter the circulatory system.
A study published in Gut in January 2022 found that people who suffered from long COVID had their gut microbiome altered by the disease for over six months after COVID-19 left their system. Patients who had lingering respiratory symptoms showed increased levels of a bacterium known to attack the gut-lung axis, while people with depression or fatigue had greater concentrations of gut bacteria associated with those conditions.
What Causes Sulfur Burps And Whats The Best Way To Get Rid Of Them
Sulfur burps is the name given to burps that have a very particular smell, like that of rotten eggs. Burps can happen any time but may occur more when you are having other gastrointestinal problems.
In most cases, the types of food youre eating and how youre eating them can cause sulfur burps. Avoiding foods that create a lot of gas and taking time to eat more slowly can help reduce sulfur burps.
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How To Treat Food Poisoning And When To Seek Medical Help
Theres not much you can do to treat mild cases of food poisoning at home. Try doing things that improve your symptoms, such as eating bland foods if you can tolerate them, and drinking plenty of water.
If you develop any of the following symptoms, this is a sign of a more serious form of food poisoning and you should contact a doctor or other healthcare professional:
- diarrhea with a fever above 102°F
- diarrhea that lasts for three or more days with no improvement
- diarrhea that contains blood
Symptoms Of Long Covid
The most common symptoms of long COVID are:
- extreme tiredness
However, there are lots of symptoms you can have after a COVID-19 infection, including:
- problems with your memory and concentration
- chest pain or tightness
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
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Is Food Poisoning Contagious
Individuals experiencing food poisoning can be contagious through fecal matter or saliva for up to 48 hours. To reduce transmission to others, follow the same suggestions as gastroenteritis: close the toilet lid before flushing, clean the bathroom and toilet frequently and wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, says Barajas.
Whats The Fastest Way To Cure Diarrhea
Theres really no cure for diarrhea, and managing this symptom usually depends on the cause. If you have a chronic condition that causes diarrhea, treatment is more complex.
In most cases of diarrhea caused by certain types of foods or simple stomach bugs, there are over-the-counter medications that can help you manage your bowels.
However, the biggest concern is to avoid dehydration caused by diarrhea by drinking fluids. Most cases of diarrhea resolve in about 2 days.
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Doctors note diarrhea could be dangerous if untreated, particularly in children, advising people to use proper oral hydration.
For children and adults, it is important to monitor for dehydration caused by diarrhea before the illness becomes extreme. Starting oral rehydration within 24 hours of symptom onset can be lifesaving, says Dr. William Greenough, infectious disease expert and professor emeritus of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Oral hydration products are often sold over-the-counter and typically contains a balance of sodium, potassium, glucose, starch, citrate and bicarbonate acids.
Here’s a list of possible symptoms from the CDC:
- Fever or chills
What Can You Take For Diarrhea Right Now
Not much in the way of pills. We know of nothing that can alter the course of the disease, says Tim Lahey, M.D., an infectious disease doctor and ethicist at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Furthermore, sometimes, GI symptoms can be the result of anxiety about COVID-19 giving you diarrhea, he says.
Dr. Chin-Hong says that if you develop diarrhea, youll want to avoid nonspicy foods and take clear liquids, all the usual things around diarrhea, he says. Nausea is more rare in his experience, he says, representing probably less than 10 percent of cases.
One concern with diarrhea, especially if you have fever, too, is losing too many electrolytes. Replacement options include Pedialyte, Gatorade, or other electrolyte-replacing beverages.
The thing you want to try to avoid, says Dr. Chin-Hong, is reaching for the Imodium. If your diarrhea is bothersome in its frequency or youre seeing blood in your stool, you should probably contact somebody before you try to suppress it with drugs, he says. With diarrhea, often whats in there needs to get out.
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Treating Diarrhea At Home
Most cases of diarrhea can be treated with simple, at-home remedies, such as:
- Staying hydrated Dehydration is a serious concern for those with diarrhea. Children should be given Pedialyte or another pediatric hydration solution, while sports drinks like Gatorade can be effective for teenagers and adults.
- Taking medication An over-the-counter medication, such as Pepto-Bismol or Imodium, can help relieve symptoms.
- Eating a BRAT diet Bananas, white rice, applesauce, and toast, aka the BRAT diet, help firm up stool and alleviate diarrhea symptoms. Stay away from fried, greasy, and high-fiber foods.
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or are accompanied by a fever of more than 102°F, bloody or black stools, or severe abdominal pain, rectal pain, or dehydration, seek medical attention at an urgent care center such as PhysicianOne Urgent Care. Our facilities are open seven days per week with extended hours, and we can treat you promptly.
Loss Of Taste Or Smell
On the CDCs list of common COVID-19 symptoms, one stands out. In addition to fever, chills and a sore throat, the public health agency recognizes new loss of taste or smell as evidence of a coronavirus infection.
People who have colds, if they get a really stuffy nose, they may complain of lack of smell, but, you know, thats sort of an unusual right now in the absence of COVID, UCSFs Winston says. But it may be one of the best indicators of a coronavirus infection.
A study published in the journal Nature Medicine tracked more than 2.5 million participants who reported their potential symptoms of COVID-19 on a smartphone app. About 65 percent of people who tested positive for COVID-19 reported loss of taste and smell, making it one of the strongest predictors of the illness among those studied. Similarly, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, found that smell and taste loss were reported in 68 and 71 percent of COVID-19positive subjects, respectively.
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When To Get Help From A Doctor
In most cases, you can let GI issues run their course, says Barajas. However, if you become extremely dehydrated, develop sunken eyes, high fever or blood in your stools, you should make an appointment to see your doctor.
“In the case of gastroenteritis or food poisoning, you may have a pathogen that requires additional antibiotic treatment,” says Barajas.
Got nausea and diarrhea?
Symptoms Of The Stomach Flu
First, it’s important to understand the stomach flu isn’t really influenza at all. According to the National Library of Medicine, it’s another name for “gastroenteritis,” which means an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by several different pathogens, including viruses , bacteria, and parasites. It usually spreads by drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food , or making contact with an infected person or their fecal matter.
Whatever the cause, the main symptoms of the stomach flu include tummy pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headachesand yes, most of those same symptoms can resemble the coronavirus. That’s why so many parents feel confused about whether their child has a stomach flu or COVID-19.
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