- Vomiting is throwing up the stomach's contents. Dry heaves may precede or follow vomiting.
- Nausea is when you fell like you're going to throw up.
- Diarrhea is the passage of any loose, watery or unformed bowel movements.
- Vomiting stomach contents
- Frequent watery, loose stools
- Cramping or pain in the abdomen
- Occasional fever
- "Stomach flu," which is a viral infection of the intestines
- Spoiled food, contaminated water, or infections from bacteria or parasites that affect the digestive tract
- Overuse of alcohol or laxatives
- A side effect of some medicines
- Lactose intolerance or a food allergy
- Emotional upsets or acute stress
- Eating or drinking too much
Diarrhea is also a symptom of health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. It results in irregular bowel habits and pain that are not due to any other bowel disease.
Vomiting is a symptom of serious medical conditions, as well. These include:
- Labrynthitis, inflammation of an area in the ear that usually results from a respiratory infection
- A concussion from a head injury
- Stomach ulcers
- Hepatitis, inflammation of the liver
- Meningitis, inflammation of the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord.
- Wash hands after going to the bathroom and before eating
- Avoid contact with anyone with "stomach flu"
- When traveling, find out if you should avoid drinking the water
- Drink clear liquids
- Avoid milk and milk products for 24-48 hours
- Gradually return to regular diet, usually within 12 hours - start with foods like bananas, rice, toast, crackers and other high carbohydrate foods
- Don't smoke or drink alcohol
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, but do not take aspirin
- Try an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicine
- Diagnostic tests may include blood work and/or laboratory study of the stool
Notify or seek medical attention if:
- Diarrhea lasts more than 48 hours
- Vomiting bright red blood
- Fever rises to 100 degrees or higher
- Severe abdominal pain
- Dehydration develops
Symptoms of dehydration
- Sunken, dry eyes
- Dry mouth, tongue and lips
- No urine or a small amount that is dark yellow
- Dry skin
- Dizziness, confusion, weakness
- Increase in breathing and heart rate
- Severe thirst