Preparing for your appointment

If you or your child needs to see a doctor, you'll likely see your primary care provider first. If there are questions about the diagnosis, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist or an infectious disease specialist.

What you can do

Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. Some questions you might want to ask your doctor or your child's doctor include:

  • What's the likely cause of these symptoms? Are there other possible causes?
  • Is there a need for tests?
  • What's the best treatment approach? Are there any alternatives?
  • Is there a need to take any medicine?
  • How can I ease the symptoms?

What to expect from your doctor

Some questions the doctor may ask include:

  • When did symptoms begin?
  • Have the symptoms been continuous, or do they come and go?
  • How severe are the symptoms?
  • Does anything seem to improve the symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen symptoms?

What you can do in the meantime

Drink plenty of fluids. Stick with bland foods to reduce stress on your digestive system. If your child is sick, follow the same approach — offer plenty of fluids and bland food.

If you're breast-feeding or using formula, continue to feed your child as usual. Ask your child's doctor if giving your child an oral rehydration fluid is appropriate.

Feb. 18, 2016
References
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  2. Bennett JE, et al. Rotaviruses. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
  3. Rotavirus. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/immunization/topics/rotavirus/en/. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
  4. Rotavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/index.html. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
  5. Diarrhea. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/diarrhea/Pages/facts.aspx#children. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
  6. What to do in a medical emergency: Fever. American College of Emergency Physicians. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/Emergency-101/Emergencies-A-Z/Fever/. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
  7. What to do in a medical emergency: Vomiting and diarrhea. American College of Emergency Physicians. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/Emergency-101/Emergencies-A-Z/Vomiting-and-Diarrhea/. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
  8. Matson DO. Acute viral gastroenteritis in children in resource-rich countries: Management and prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 30, 2015.
  9. Matson DO. Rotavirus vaccines for infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 30, 2015.