What causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea?
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not conditions or illnesses, but rather common gastrointestinal symptoms that can be caused by a large number of conditions. These symptoms could be caused by prescribed medications, pregnancy, a stomach virus (such as rotavirus or gastroenteritis), food poisoning, or could be a symptom of something more severe. Many times, vomiting or diarrhea are not cause for medical attention, however, if you have frequent bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, you should seek medical attention. Recurring vomiting or diarrhea could be signs of a larger issue, such as organ failure, cancer, or a chronic disease.
When should you come to the ER for vomiting or diarrhea?
You should seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms accompany nausea and vomiting:
- Chest pain
- A high fever
- A stiff neck
- Blurred vision
- Abdominal pain or cramping that is severe
- Fecal matter or smell in vomit
- Blood or matter resembling coffee grounds or is green in vomit
- Rectal bleeding
- Severe headache, especially if it is a new pain
- Vomiting or diarrhea leading to dehydration – dry mouth, infrequent urination or dark-colored urine, weakness, dizziness/lightheadedness
- Episodes of fainting
Vomiting and Diarrhea in Children
It is always difficult to see our children feeling bad or sick. However, vomiting or diarrhea in kids is not usually an immediate cause for concern. These are natural symptoms and part of the body’s natural response to illness or, in some instances, a larger issue. But with children often unable to easily communicate how they feel, when should you be concerned and seek immediate medical attention?
- Vomiting that lasts longer than 12 hours in infants, 24 hours in children under 2, or 2 days in older children or any of the below:
- Projectile vomiting in infants
- Any green color in the vomit in any age
- A fever of 102 or higher
- A fever of 101 for more than 3 days
- Signs of dehydration:
- No tears when crying
- No wet diapers within 6 hours for infants
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes or soft spot
- Cool and clammy skin, especially hands and feet
However, all children are different and you know best the normal appearance and behavior of your child. If you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing, seek medical attention. Neighbors Emergency Center can treat all pediatric emergencies in our pediatric care rooms.
Excellent facility very clean wonderful staff amazing doctors and nurses really pleased with this facility will definitely be returning with my little one!!– Joey