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Understanding Nausea and Vomiting -- Symptoms

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of other conditions. If you feel nauseous, you may have a stomach bug or other type of illness.

Nausea and even vomiting don't always mean you need medical help. However, if the symptoms scare you, call your health care provider.

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Diarrhea and the Stomach Flu

Every year, millions of Americans come down with the "stomach flu," or viral gastroenteritis. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, fever, and headache. It’s also highly contagious. What treatments will make life with the stomach flu a little less awful? More importantly, how can you avoid getting it in the first place? Here are some answers.

Read the Diarrhea and the Stomach Flu article > >

Call Your Doctor About Nausea and Vomiting If:

  • You think you have food poisoning. Nausea and vomiting caused by food poisoning usually appear one to eight hours after a meal. Some kinds of food poisoning, such as salmonella, may take longer.
  • You have symptoms of nausea that last more than a week. If you are a woman and have been having sex without using birth control, you may be pregnant.
  • You are an adult and have been vomiting for more than 24 hours.
  • Your child under the age of 6 has been vomiting more than a few hours, is vomiting and has diarrhea, has signs of dehydration, hasn't urinated for six hours, or has a fever of more than 100 degrees F.
  • Your child aged 6 and older has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, has signs of dehydration, hasn't urinated for six hours, or has a fever of more than 102 degrees F.

See a Doctor or Call an Ambulance If:

  • There is blood in the vomit or if the vomit looks like coffee grounds.
  • The person vomiting becomes confused or sleepy or loses alertness.
  • There is a severe headache or stiff neck.
  • There is severe pain in the stomach or gut.
  • There is rapid breathing or rapid pulse.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 17, 2014

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