What is Vomiting?
Vomiting is the expulsion of stomach contents from the mouth, typically via force. Though the source of vomiting associated with nausea can sometimes be pinpointed (such as in the case of food poisoning, for example), actual causes can vary significantly, ranging from gastroenteritis to exposure to harmful food-borne bacteria. Vomiting can be the result of infection, injury, acute illnesses or chronic conditions.
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a term used to describe bowel movements that are loose, watery, frequent or a combination of these factors. It can be either chronic or acute in nature, with acute diarrhea typically lasting for a few days or less. Some people experience diarrhea regularly as a result of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Others may experience bouts of diarrhea once or twice a year as a result of acute illness.
Is Vomiting Dangerous?
While vomiting is typically harmless when associated with acute conditions such as exposure to “stomach bugs,” it can result in dehydration if bouts do not lessen with time. This is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. Sudden vomiting should always be treated as a medical emergency, as it could indicate severe illness in the form of appendicitis, intestinal blockages or other conditions.
Is Diarrhea Dangerous?
As with vomiting, diarrhea becomes dangerous when it leads to excessive amounts of dehydration—especially in children and the elderly. If diarrhea comes on suddenly and doesn’t let up with time, dehydration can follow close behind.
What are the Symptoms of Diarrhea?
Diarrhea can come along with a number of different symptoms, some of which may vary in severity or not occur at all. Possible symptoms associated with diarrhea include:
- Abdominal pain
- Thin, loose or watery stools
- Frequent urge to “go”
What Causes Vomiting?
Vomiting can be the result of infection, injury, acute illnesses or chronic conditions. Here are just a handful of the most common reasons for vomiting:
- Viruses (including norovirus)
- Motion Sickness
- Intense Pain
- Food-borne Illness
- Heart Attack
- Certain Forms of Cancer
- Alcohol Poisoning
- Chronic Medical Conditions
What Are the Causes of Diarrhea?
Diarrhea can be associated with a number of different illnesses, which means there’s really no “one size fits all” cause to identify in most cases. Factors that can lead to diarrhea include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Food allergies and intolerances (lactose intolerance, for example)
- Certain medications
- Viral infection
- Food-borne Illness
- Overactive Thyroid
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Alcohol abuse
- Bacterial Infection
When Should You Seek Medical Attention for Vomiting?
While most people will experience vomiting as a symptom of an acute illness at some point, there are circumstances when it’s best to see a doctor. Be sure to stop into a ConvenientMD location if you experience any of the following:
- Vomiting that lasts for more than 12 hours straight.
- Symptoms of dehydration (headache, fatigue, dizziness, loss of consciousness) are present.
- Vomiting in infants or the elderly.
When Should You Seek Medical Attention for Diarrhea?
Most people experience diarrhea at least once per year, which is to be considered normal. In many cases, however, treating diarrhea may require the expertise of a doctor. Be sure to visit ConvenientMD if you experience any of the following:
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than 12 hours.
- Diarrhea associated with symptoms of dehydration.
- Black or bloody stools.
- Diarrhea associated with fever.
How are Vomiting and Diarrhea Treated?
Because vomiting and diarrhea can be caused by a number of different factors, there are a variety of treatment options to consider, including:
- Administering of IV fluids (to combat dehydration).
- Treatment of bacterial infection with antibiotics.
In young infants, vomiting shouldn’t be confused with “spitting up,” which may be normal, or may result from overfeeding, milk or soy allergy, or intolerance to formula. True vomiting in infants is forceful, upsets the infant, and can quickly result in dehydration. Infants with true vomiting should be evaluated by a physician. In older infants and children, gastroenteritis is the most common cause of vomiting, which may come along with fever, cramps and diarrhea. Vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration in infants and young children. If your child vomits each time he or she attempts to take a drink of water, a visit to the doctor is required to ensure dehydration does not progress.
While vomiting may subside within 12 hours of treatment, diarrhea from viral infections can continue to last several days. The child may feed during an episode of diarrhea if desired.
Get Better With ConvenientMD! Visit Any of Our Urgent Care Locations in NH, ME and MA Today.
CovenientMD’s expert medical staff and highly experienced doctors regularly treat vomiting and diarrhea resulting from a wide range of different causation factors. We’re open seven days a week, so just stop into one of our clinics in Maine, New Hampshire or Massachusetts without ever needing an appointment.