Nausea and Vomiting: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Image of the stomach

When you are nauseated, you may feel weak and sweaty and notice a lot of saliva in your mouth. Nausea often leads to vomiting. Most of the time you do not need to worry about nausea and vomiting, but they can be signs of other illnesses.

Two common causes of nausea and vomiting are stomach flu and food-borne illness. Nausea and vomiting from viral stomach flu will usually start to improve within 24 hours. Nausea and vomiting from a food-borne illness may last from 12 to 48 hours.

The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Choose water and other caffeine-free clear liquids until you feel better. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Rest in bed until you feel better.
  • When you are able to eat, try clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all symptoms are gone for 12 to 48 hours. Other good choices include dry toast, crackers, cooked cereal, and gelatin dessert, such as Jell-O.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of dehydration, such as:
    • Dry eyes and a dry mouth.
    • Passing only a little dark urine.
    • Feeling thirstier than usual.
  • You have new or worsening belly pain.
  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have ongoing nausea and vomiting.
  • Your vomiting is getting worse.
  • Your vomiting lasts longer than 2 days.
  • You are not getting better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 27, 2016