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What causes diarrhea, headache, tiredness and sore muscles?

My brother has diarrhea, headache...

My brother has diarrhea, headache, tiredness and sore muscles in neck. Is this the flu?

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/28/2010
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7,780
Experience: MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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Hi, I'm sorry to hear about your brother.

Can I ask does he have blood or mucus in the stools? Are the stools watery?
Does he have any cough or cold symptoms? Any fever? How long has he had these symptoms? How old is he? What is his occupation? Any past medical problems or medications?

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

-To my knowledge no blood or mucus.

-Initially they were watery and quite often (he was getting up 4-5 times a night).

-No cough, but is lethargic and tired, headache, aches in his neck.

-No fever.

-Symptoms have been present for 3 days.

-He is 22 years of age and works in retail.

-He is not on medication and has no other medical problems.

Thanks for the additional information,

Well from the symptoms that your describe it seems like that your brother is suffering from the stomach flu or what we can refer to as viral gastroenteritis. This involves the intestine which leads to profuse watery diarrhea without blood or mucus in the stools. The diarrhea in turn leads to the loss of electrolytes and water, which if not replenished can lead to the tiredness, headaches, fatigue and aches in neck. This can in turn lead to the numbness and weakness in legs as well due to loss of potassium.

Now the way to go about this is to load up on electrolyte rich fluids and prevent dehydration at all costs. He should be on the BRAT diet which consists of bread, rice, applesauce and toast until the diarrhea stops. But the most important thing here is to maintain his hydration status. this is very important component of therapy.

Now if he develops any fever, blood or mucus in stools, any abdominal pain, then he has to see a doctor to get antibiotics because that will mean a bacterial infection.

The second possibility which I believe you're worried about is the swine flu H1N1 can present with just diarrhea and headaches plus cough etc but without any chest or upper respiratory tract infections the chances are less. The fact that he works in the retail industry means he comes to into contact with a lot of people. This is possibility which would need to be ruled out with testing for the virus. The likelihood of this however is less than the above diagnosis.

So I would suggest that you get him to try my recommendations and if he doesn't get better in a couple of days take him to your doctor for testing and further treatment. I hope this helps.

Dr. Muneeb Ali
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7,780
Experience: MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
Verified
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