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Nausea and Vomiting

Overview :

Nausea is a reaction to a number of causes that include overeating, infection, or irritation of the throat or stomach lining. Persistent or recurrent nausea and vomiting should be checked by a doctor.

A doctor should be called if nausea and vomiting occur:

  • after eating rich or spoiled food or taking a new medication
  • repeatedly or for 48 hours or longer
  • following intense dizziness

It is important to see a doctor if nausea and vomiting are accompanied by:

  • yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • pain in the chest or lower abdomen
  • trouble with swallowing or urination
  • dehydration or extreme thirst
  • drowsiness or confusion
  • constant, severe abdominal pain
  • a fruity breath odor

A doctor should be notified if vomiting is heavy and/or bloody, if the vomitus looks like feces, or if the patient has been unable to keep food down for 24 hours.

An ambulance or emergency response number should be called immediately if:

  • Diabetic shock is suspected
  • Nausea and vomiting continue after other symptoms of viral infection have subsided
  • The patient has a severe headache
  • The patient is sweating and having chest pain and trouble breathing
  • The patient is known or suspected to have swallowed a drug overdose or poisonous substance
  • The patient has a high body temperature, muscle cramps, and other signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Nausea, vomiting, and breathing problems occur after exposure to a known allergen

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