When you feel nauseous and are vomiting, the last thing you may want to do is leave home and go to the doctor. However, sometimes vomiting can be a sign of a health condition that needs medical care.
And sometimes, vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can also become a serious issue. The fact is, a lot of things can cause vomiting, including the following:
- Reaction to medication or radiation treatment
- Stomach flu
- Food poisoning
- Food allergies
So, how do you know when to go to an urgent care clinic? Here’s what Madhav Devani, MD, of Ross Bridge Medical Center in Hoover, Alabama, wants you to know.
How to treat vomiting at home
You may not feel like eating or drinking anything, but sipping water every so often is important to keep you hydrated. You should also try to drink clear liquids, such as broth and sports drinks to replenish your electrolytes. If you’re hungry, nibble on some dry salty crackers or plain toast.
It’s also important to get plenty of rest. If food or other odors in your home make you nauseous, rest in a quiet room and crack the window for some fresh air. Mint or ginger tea can also help soothe an upset stomach.
When to go to urgent care for vomiting
If you’ve been vomiting for more than two days (48 hours), it may be time to seek medical help, especially if you have any of these additional symptoms:
- Blood or what looks like coffee grounds in your vomit
- A high fever
- Stiff neck
- Severe headache
- Bad abdominal pain
- Unable to keep down any liquids
- Uncontrolled diarrhea
- Nonstop vomiting for more than four hours
Watch for these signs of dehydration, too:
- Dark-colored urine
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Peeing less than normal
Young children and the elderly can be more susceptible to getting dehydrated from vomiting, so keep a close eye on them.
When to seek emergency care for vomiting
If the vomiting comes on suddenly or is very intense, this could be a sign that you need emergency medical attention. Sudden or intense vomiting could indicate that you have a serious condition, such as an intestinal blockage.
In general, emergency rooms treat life-threatening conditions. Urgent-care clinics treat serious conditions that aren’t life-threatening. If you’re not sure if you should go to our urgent care clinic or go to an emergency room, call us and we can help you decide.
If you or a family member has been vomiting, and it doesn’t seem like it’s getting better, it may be time to come into our urgent care facility. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Ross Bridge Medical Center today. We’re also available for walk-in visits.