What Causes Concurring Vomiting and Diarrhea, and How Is It Treated
Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms that affect people of all ages, from babies and toddlers to adults.
Most of the time, these two symptoms are the result of a stomach bug or food poisoning, and they resolve within a few days. Getting some rest and drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration is usually the only treatment needed.
Though a virus is usually the culprit, there are other possible causes of vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, such as certain medical conditions and medications.
Causes of Vomiting
Vomiting can be the result of infection, injury, acute illnesses or chronic conditions. Here are just a handful of the most common reasons for vomiting:
- Viruses (including norovirus)
- Motion Sickness
- Intense Pain
- Food-borne Illness
- Heart Attack
- Certain Forms of Cancer
- Alcohol Poisoning
- Chronic Medical Conditions
Causes of Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be associated with a number of different illnesses, which means there’s really no “one size fits all” cause to identify in most cases. Factors that can lead to diarrhea include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Food allergies and intolerances (lactose intolerance, for example)
- Certain medications
- Viral infection
- Food-borne Illness
- Overactive Thyroid
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Alcohol abuse
- Bacterial Infection
Types of Diarrhea
Vomiting and Diarrhea are very common, and they usually may disappear on their its own. There are two types of diarrhea – Acute and Chronic Diarrhea.
Acute diarrhea is diarrhea that lasts a short time, usually one or two days but it may last longer and will usually go away on its own. Chronic diarrhea is diarrhea that lasts longer – up to four weeks and could be a symptom of a more serious chronic disease. Symptoms of chronic diarrhea may appear continuously or they may come and go.
Who Gets Diarrhea?
Everyone gets diarrhea. People of all ages, races, ethnicities and nationalities get diarrhea. On average, adult Americans get diarrhea at least once a year while children get it twice a year. People who frequently travel outside United States on average, get traveler’s diarrhea from consuming contaminated food or water.
What is Vomiting?
Vomiting or throwing up happens when you forcefully discharge the contents of your stomach. Vomiting can be a one-time event caused by eating something that disagrees with your stomach. Frequently vomiting could be a symptom of an underlying illness and may require a visit to the emergency room for treatment.
Frequent vomiting could also lead to dehydration which left untreated, could lead to serious medical conditions and death.
When to Visit Emergency Room (ER) for Vomiting and Diarrhea
Visit an emergency room (ER) if you observe the following symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.
- Black or tarry stool
- Stool that contains blood
- Fever – 102 degrees or higher
- Abdominal pain or pain in your rectum
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than two days for adults or longer than one day for children
- Signs of dehydration
If you are experiencing above symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, it is time to visit a nearby emergency room (ER) for treatment.
Come in to ER of Texas Emergency Center to make sure you are not dehydrated. Our emergency room staff can assess what is causing the vomiting and diarrhea. Our board-certified physicians will diagnose the issues causing you to vomit and have diarrhea, and recommend treatment.