Diarrhea occurs when stools are loose and watery, and they are passed more frequently than normal stools. Diarrhea is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps, but it is usually not serious unless it lasts for several days. If vomiting and diarrhea are chronic and occur for an extended period of time, they can be life threatening or be symptoms of an underlying health condition.
Common Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea:
Vomiting and diarrhea are very common, and they usually disappear on their own. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Medications – Some medications can cause vomiting and diarrhea. These include blood pressure medications, antibiotics, cancer medications and antacids that contain magnesium. If medication is the cause of vomiting or diarrhea, your doctor may be able to suggest a different prescription or offer suggestions that will minimize the effects of the medication.
- Food poisoning – Food poisoning is one of the leading causes of vomiting and diarrhea, and it occurs when food contains salmonella, campylobacter or E. coli bacteria. Food poisoning is usually temporary and mild, but it can be serious if the patient is under the age of 1, is elderly or has a weakened immune system.
- Viral gastroenteritis – Norovirus and rotavirus are the two main viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea. They are accompanied by fever, abdominal pain and cramping.
- Food intolerances – Food intolerances may lead to bloating, gas, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Traveling – Traveler’s diarrhea occurs when water and food that have been contaminated by bacteria are consumed while traveling.
- Parasites – An infection caused by parasites may be the source of diarrhea and vomiting. Amoebic dysentery is a condition that develops over time and can persist for months if left untreated. Giardiasis is another parasitic infection that is spread through contaminated water supplies. Symptoms of giardiasis may persist even after the parasites have left the body.
If you are experiencing vomiting/diarrhea beyond what you can manage at home, come in to SignatureCare Emergency Center, to make sure you are not dehydrated. Our emergency room staff can assess what is causing the vomiting/diarrhea. Our board-certified physicians will get you taken care of, within the comforts of our fully-stocked facility. Schedule an emergency room appointment with us.