When to Worry About Vomiting and Diarrhea

When to Worry About Vomiting and Diarrhea 150 150 Tony Guo

When to Worry About Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are both common in children, with an estimated 22% of children under the age of three having at least one episode of severe or persistent vomiting in their lifetimes. Diarrhea is also common, with up to 20% of all children suffering from a bout of diarrhea every year. However, it’s important to know when these symptoms are normal and when they might indicate something more serious going on. If you have any concerns about your child’s vomiting or diarrhea, here are five signs to look for that may indicate you should make an appointment with your doctor right away.

What is normal?
Vomiting or diarrhea that lasts less than 24 hours is usually not a cause for concern. However, if you are vomiting or having diarrhea for more than 24 hours, it could be a sign of an infection in the stomach or intestines, food poisoning, etc. Frequent vomiting can also lead to dehydration which requires medical attention. In any case, if you are experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours without relief from medication, it’s important that you visit your doctor.

What are the common causes?
The most common cause of vomiting or diarrhea is gastroenteritis, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, toxins, food poisoning or other unknown sources. The most common symptoms of this illness are nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Less than 1% of cases last more than 14 days. This is a self-limiting condition that resolves on its own in a few days with the right treatment.

Seek medical help if you have blood in your stool, fever, stomach pain, headache, swelling or a feeling of weakness.
– Dehydration can also result in vomiting. Get lots of fluids and electrolytes so you don’t become severely dehydrated, which is more serious than just feeling thirsty.
– Focusing on keeping food down may be difficult when you have stomach pain or diarrhea but small, frequent meals may help.
– Sometimes the loss of appetite occurs with nausea. If this is the case for you, make sure you are getting enough nutrients by focusing on healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, broth based soups or drinks.

How long does it last?
Vomiting lasts about 3-4 hours. Diarrhea usually lasts 1-3 days but can last up to a week. If you have vomited for more than 8 hours or are unable to keep any liquid down, you should contact your doctor immediately. If diarrhea has lasted more than 24 hours, you should also contact your doctor.

Treat the underlying cause.
Vomiting is usually an acute response to nausea, while diarrhea is usually a chronic response to inflammation of the colon. In general, vomiting can be managed by seeking treatment for the underlying cause. If you have vomited more than twice in the last 24 hours, are feeling dehydrated or weak, or have a fever, seek immediate medical attention.
Diarrhea is typically caused by digestive intolerance or infection. If you have had diarrhea for more than three days and are not improving after taking over-the-counter medications like Imodium® (loperamide), consult your healthcare provider.

Rest and hydrate.
If you’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, it’s important to rest and get plenty of fluids. The severity of the symptoms will vary depending on what is causing them, but the general rule is that you should see a doctor if your vomit or diarrhea persists for more than a day. In some cases, dehydration can lead to life-threatening consequences if left untreated. If you think that your vomiting or diarrhea may be caused by an infection or another health issue, it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible so they can treat the underlying cause.

Try home remedies.
You may be able to treat some mild symptoms at home with over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the symptoms continue, however, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. Staying hydrated is important for anyone who is vomiting or has diarrhea because it helps keep your electrolytes in balance. Drink plenty of fluids like water, sports drinks or clear juices. Avoid caffeinated beverages if you have a stomach bug because they can make the dehydration worse.

Talk to your doctor about prescription medications.
If you’re vomiting, you may be dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, including water. If there is blood in the vomit or if it’s thick like coffee grounds, contact your doctor immediately. If you can’t keep down any liquids or food at all, contact your physician immediately because this could be a sign of serious complications that need emergency treatment right away. It’s important not to drink anything with caffeine or alcohol while you have diarrhea because those beverages can make it worse. The best thing for someone with diarrhea is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of clear fluids such as water or sports drinks. You should also avoid fatty foods and dairy products which may worsen the symptoms of diarrhea.

Rehydrate with electrolyte drinks like Pedialyte.
If your child has been vomiting for more than 24 hours or if their diarrhea has lasted more than three days, it’s time to seek medical attention. When dehydration becomes a risk, call your pediatrician or take them to the emergency room.
The first thing you want to do is make sure they’re rehydrated by giving them Pedialyte or other electrolyte drinks. If they can drink without vomiting, offer them small amounts of clear fluids like apple juice mixed with water.

See your doctor right away if symptoms worsen despite rehydration measures, especially if you start having bloody stools, a high fever over 101 degrees F (38.3 Celsius), severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting more than twice in an hour or you develop new symptoms that are severe such as confusion, irritability or loss of appetite.

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