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Understanding Nausea and Vomiting -- Symptoms

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of other conditions. If you feel nauseated, 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

Ruptured Spleen

The spleen is a delicate, fist-sized organ under your left rib cage near your stomach. It contains special white blood cells that destroy bacteria and help your body fight infections. The spleen also makes red blood cells and helps remove, or filter, old ones from the body's circulation. A layer of tissue entirely covers the spleen in a capsule-like fashion, except where veins and arteries enter the organ. This tissue, called the splenic capsule, helps protect the spleen from direct injury.

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Call Your Doctor About Nausea and Vomiting If:

  • You think you have food poisoning and cannot keep food or water down. Nausea and vomiting caused by food poisoning usually appear one to 24 hours after a meal and usually resolves quickly on their own. 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, has diarrhea or 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 Lisa B. Bernstein, MD on March 18, 2015

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