What are diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting?
Diarrhea, vomiting and nausea are common complaints that can result from diseases such as gastrointestinal and inflammatory bowel diseases, conditions such as food allergies, and from usage of antibiotics or other drugs.
Nausea is a sensation that often precedes vomiting or diarrhea. It is an uneasiness of the stomach.
Vomiting is the emptying of the stomach contents by a strong gag and retch that leads to throwing up. The impulse to vomit can be stimulated by smells, taste, various illnesses and emotions (such as fear), pain, injury, infection, food irritation, dizziness, motion, and other changes in the body.
Diarrhea is loose, watery stools. Attacks of mild acute diarrhea can often be traced to a simple dietary cause, such as eating rich food, or to an emotional upset. Acute diarrhea is a common problem that usually lasts 1 or 2 days and goes away on its own without special treatment. Serious acute diarrhea may be caused by viral or bacterial infection including food poisoning, unclean water, and by certain respiratory infections. Prolonged diarrhea persisting for more than 2 days may be a sign of a more serious problem and poses the risk of dehydration.
What is the treatment for diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting?
The fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting need to be replaced promptly because the body cannot function without them. Although water is extremely important in preventing dehydration, it does not contain electrolytes. Broth and soups that contain sodium, and fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables that contain potassium, help restore electrolyte levels. Over the counter rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte, Ceralyte, and Infalyte are also good electrolyte sources and are recommended for children.
Visit a Take Care Health Provider if you experience any of the following situations associated with diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
- If the nausea lasts for more than a few days or if there is a possibility of being pregnant.
- If home treatment is not working, dehydration is present, or a known injury has occurred that may be causing the vomiting.
- For infants or children under 6 years of age, if vomiting lasts more than a few hours, diarrhea is present, signs of dehydration occur, there is a fever higher than 100° F, or if the child hasn't urinated for 6 hours. Take Care ClinicsSM treat patients ages 18 months and older.