DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

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Gastroenteritis and Vomiting / Diarrhea

In the past, I have suffered from gastroenteritis. Does this prevent me from diving?

This irritation of the large and small bowel can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and cramping, loss of appetite and general weakness. Caused by various bacteria or viruses, it may also indicate other gastrointestinal disease. Often mild and lasting only a day or two, it can be severe and cause life-threatening dehydration.

Malaise and dehydration can both adversely affect divers; one should postpone diving until symptoms have subsided and hydration is normal. To maintain or regain hydration, take extra fluid as tolerated. Divers should remember that medications used to control nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may have some adverse side effects, such as sedation.