When To See A Doctor For Nausea And Throwing Up
If you are throwing up for more than two days it’s time to see a doctor, but time isn’t the only indicator that vomiting is serious enough to warrant medical attention.
Vomiting is not an illness on its own, but is instead a side effect of many different things. Anything from food poisoning to eating too many potato chips can cause you to vomit.
In order to determine if vomiting is serious or not you must identify the other symptoms you are experiencing and how you feel overall. Are you feeling any better, or do symptoms only seem to be getting worse?
Why Do We Throw Up?
Throwing up is a survival mechanism employed by the body to rid itself of harmful substances. You drink too much? The body pushes it back out. You eat too much food? Your body throws it up. While overconsumption can cause you to throw up, the most common causes of vomiting relate to a virus or bacteria.
When a foreign invader enters the stomach, your body goes to work trying to remove it through throwing up and/or diarrhea. In other words, throwing up is a natural defense mechanism employed by your body. When you become sick your body may overreact and throw up everything, including water.
When To See A Doctor For Nausea & Vomiting
Throwing up is not an immediate cause for concern, as it’s a natural process the body goes through. If vomiting persists for more than two days and is leading to more serious issues like dehydration, you should visit your local urgent care.
For adults and children over 2, throwing up for more than 2 consecutive days is cause for concern. Especially because the longer you are throwing up, the greater your risk for developing serious complications associated with dehydration.
Visit your local Urgent Care if vomiting is accompanied by:
-A headache that doesn’t feel like a normal headache.
-You have not been able to keep down any food or liquids for 12+ hours, or 8-hours for children.
-If you are experiencing signs of dehydration (extreme or unquenchable thirst, weak, dizzy, blurry vision, lightheaded whenever you stand up, dark-colored urine, not urinating enough to be considered normal).
If you are experiencing vomiting paired with the following symptoms you should go to the emergency room immediately:
-You notice blood in your vomit
-You are having chest pains
-Severe cramping of the stomach, unlike anything you’ve experienced.
-If you faint or become disoriented and confused
-Your skin is cold, clammy and abnormally pale
-You have a high fever
-Your neck is stiff
-Fecal material or fecal-like odor in vomit
Dehydration is the most common side effect of excessive vomiting. Your body looses a lot of fluids every time you vomit, and this is made worse if you are also experiencing diarrhea. This is why it’s so important to take in as many fluids as possible throughout the day.
If you are unable to keep down clear fluids you will need an IV to replenish the body with adequate fluids.
How To Treat Vomiting & Nausea At Home
-Get plenty of rest so that the body has a chance to heal and fight off the invader making you sick in the first place.
-Take small sips of water all throughout the day to help prevent dehydration. Avoid gulping down a bunch of water at once to help prevent more vomiting.
-Avoid strong odors. Odors from food, perfume, smoke, a stuffy room or anything else can provoke nausea and make it worse.
-Avoid flashing lights and driving, as both are known to further provoke nausea and vomiting.
-Do not eat anything until you have stopped vomiting and don’t feel any more coming on. Start eating very slowly; perhaps just taking a couple nibbles of a cracker to make sure your stomach can handle it. From there, continue to eat small, slow portions of bland foods and gradually introduce new foods back into the body. Start with gelatin and crackers, and then move up to rice, cereal or fruit. Make sure to avoid any spicy or fatty foods.
Vomiting Caused By Motion Sickness
If you are nauseas and or experiencing vomiting due to motion sickness you can try taking over-the-counter motion sickness medicines like Rugby Travel Sickness or Dramamine. If you are going on a cruise a doctor may prescribe you an adhesive patch such as Transderm Scop.
If you know that you are prone to motion sickness you should consult with a doctor before going on a cruise or long road trip. That way, if nausea kicks in you have the medicine necessary to combat it without ruining your trip.