What You Need to Know About Vomiting and Diarrhea in You & Your Kids
It’s flu season and if you haven’t experienced a bout of the flu in your household, it may still be on the horizon. Influenza, food poisoning or infection is often accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting and a feeling of nausea. At Medco ER in Plano, TX, our board-certified physicians know what to look for in the case of vomiting and diarrhea in you or your children.
If you or your child are experiencing irrepressible bouts of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, there could be one of several conditions causing your discomfort.1
- Stomach flu or influenza – there are several different kinds and some trend more than others in our region and at certain times of the year.
- Food poisoning
- Motion sickness, dizziness, ear infection
- Blocked intestine
- Illness such as appendicitis, cholecystitis, etc.
- Concussion or brain injury
- Heart attacks
- Kidney or liver conditions
- Central nervous system conditions
“Since your vomiting and diarrhea could be contributed to several different things, we usually test right away for flu and investigate the more common things like food poisoning,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan, “Those rapid results labs can often tell us pretty quickly what we are dealing with. After that, we can develop the right treatment plan for you or your child.”
- Nausea is when your stomach feels queasy or unsettled and you may feel like you may soon vomit.
- Vomiting, or throwing up, is when your stomach forcibly empties itself of its contents.
- Diarrhea is loose, watery stools, sometimes explosive or hard to control.
At Home Treatment
Since fluid is being lost, it is important to continue drinking to prevent dehydration. Drink clear liquids and eat light, liquid foods. Avoid greasy or fried foods or solid food. Eat small amounts more frequently. Stay quiet and still and rest as much as possible. Drink a rehydrating solution such as electrolytes or sports drinks.
When to go to the ER
“If your diarrhea and vomiting won’t stop,” said Dr. Khan, “then it’s time to come to Medco ER and let us help you.”
Warning signs that mean you need to go to the doctor:
- Black, tarry stools or blood in stool
- Dry, cracked lips and dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Rapid breathing
- Fast pulse, racing heartbeat
- Decreased or stopped urination
- Sunken soft spot on top of baby’s head (fontanelle)
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days for adults or 1 day for children
- Vomiting that lasts more than a half day
- Fever over 100˚F
- Blood in vomit (looks like coffee grounds)
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Abdominal pain
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
When vomiting and diarrhea are out of control, the expert team at Medco ER is ready to help you. Our in-house pharmacy has the hydrating IVs and the medicines to start to help you feel better. Come in anytime day or night to find a board-certified physician ready to go to work for you.
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
3 Myths About Dehydration that Could Hurt You
Summertime can be the busiest time of the year. Not only are you getting all your projects done, but you’re also squeezing in all the fun you can. This extra running, combined with our excessive Texas heat, can result in dehydration if you’re not careful with your water intake. Left unchecked, dehydration can quickly become serious.
Dehydration is the lack of sufficient water for your body’s needs. Symptoms can begin with even as little as 1.5% fluid loss.1
When the body is low on water, several adverse things begin to happen.
- Your heart must work harder to pump blood2
- Your muscles don’t move efficiently
- Your feet and hands may swell as your body retains fluid
- You start to feel really sick: dizzy, headache, dry mouth, pounding heart, shaky
Dehydration can be caused by not getting enough water and by exercising, drinking alcohol, taking certain medications, unrelenting hot weather, or by being sick with vomiting or diarrhea.
But many of us are used to living with a certain level of dehydration and we tell ourselves it will be ok because we’ve pushed the envelope before. Here are 3 common myths that need to be debunked when it comes to protecting yourself from the adverse effects of dehydration.
Myth #1 – Drink when you’re thirsty and you’ll be fine
“Waiting to drink water when you are thirsty is not the best plan of action against dehydration,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “Your body will already be struggling to get back to a comfortable hydration point, especially if countering the effects of hot weather or exercise. Also, as you age, your thirst indicator becomes less noticeable and, thus, less reliable.”
Pro Tip: Drink before you notice thirst and keep up the water intake throughout the day.
Myth #2 – Drinking a lot of water quickly will take care of it
Drinking excessive amounts of water at one time is not the best way to remain hydrated all day. Your body will rapidly purge more and retain less, leaving you still dehydrated as you keep working or the heat remains an issue.
Pro Tip: Drink small amounts of water throughout the day to make sure you are getting plenty.
Myth #3 – Dehydration is unpleasant but not dangerous
“Dehydration can quickly become dangerous and even deadly,” said Dr. Khan. “We treat patients all the time with IVs and electrolyte intervention to try to restore them to health. It’s not something to take lightly.”
Additionally, it can contribute to an imbalance of electrolytes—or hypernatremia—which can make you very sick. Another complication that is made worse by dehydration is low fluid levels in the cells of the body, or hypovolemia. Over time, liver and kidney damage can occur. Most of these complications can be alleviated with proper hydration habits.
Pro Tip: Help educate those around you and establish good hydration habits in their lives.
Symptoms of Dehydration3
- Dark-colored urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Less frequent urination
- Muscle cramps
- Lightheadedness, dizziness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fever, chills
- Drowsiness, fatigue
- Thirsty, dry mouth
- Weakness, shaking
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
Babies, children, and seniors are among the highest risk group for dehydration. If you or someone you love is suffering from dehydration, come in right away to the nearest Medco ER, open all day and night. You will be met by a board-certified physician who is experienced in treating mild to severe dehydration.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
- Carrollton: 2745 E Belt Line Road, Carrollton, TX 75006
Call us @ 469-840-4600
An Expert’s Guide to Nausea & Vomiting
If you or your child ever awakened in the night with a sudden bout of upset stomach, nausea or an urge to vomit, you have probably wondered what caused it. Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of an underlying condition which could be anything from a common infection to an intestinal obstruction or even appendicitis. While nobody wants to suffer from intractable nausea and vomiting, you can be assured that the board-certified physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care of Plano are highly experienced at diagnosing and treating these conditions using a thorough history & physical exam as well as use of the advanced lab tests and imaging tools.
“Nausea and vomiting are indicators of an underlying distress in the body,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “We need to perform a complete evaluation to pinpoint the exact cause, which could vary widely from patient to patient. We may need to follow it up with blood tests and a CT scan. In the end, we will be able to construct a treatment plan that’s appropriate for the patient.”
What are the causes of nausea and vomiting?
There are many causes of nausea and vomiting. Some of the most common ones encountered in the Urgent Care & ER setting are as follows:
- Food poisoning
- Viral gastroenteritis – commonly called stomach flu
- Pregnancy – morning sickness
- Intestinal obstruction
- Alcohol consumption
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Heart attack
- Intestinal intussusception in young children
- Kidney stone
- Motion sickness
What are some of the symptoms that can accompany nausea and vomiting?
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Dehydration – sunken eyes, chapped lips, dry mouth, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, decreased urine output, dark colored urine, strong smelling urine, sunken fontanelle (soft spot on infant’s head)
What are signs of an emergency?
If your nausea and vomiting are accompanied by any of these symptoms, you need to immediately go to the nearest emergency room.
- Chest pain
- Stiff neck and high fever
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Loss of consciousness
- Sharp pain
- Uncontrolled dehydration
- Blood in stool
- Blood in urine
- Blood, green color or something like coffee grounds in vomit
- Fecal odor in vomit
Simple treatment options at home include the importance to pushing hydration and drinking fluids. Carbonated and sweet liquids can sometimes soothe the stomach better than water. Mint tea is also quite helpful for certain conditions. Rehydrate with an electrolyte-ready solution or drink. Stay home and rest. Avoid triggers such as perfumes, odors, lights, driving and heat. A few hours after vomiting, try bland foods like toast, crackers or gelatin. Keep your head elevated.
There are different types of medications that are used in the clinical setting depending on the various conditions and age group. Our physicians at Medco ER do not just provide prescriptions but they can make you feel better quickly with IV medications and IV fluids right on the spot and help you go home feeling great.
When should I go to the ER?
As a rule of thumb, if your vomiting has lasted for longer than 24 hours, seek medical attention at Medco ER & Urgent Care. We are open 24/7, and happy to help anytime you want to come see us.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000