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Vomiting: When to Visit Urgent Care

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Vomiting: When to Visit Urgent Care

Nausea and vomiting go hand in hand and can be the source of significant discomfort. Vomiting is forcibly throwing food up through the esophagus. When throwing up, you may wonder when you should consider urgent care. The following information may help you decide:

Causes of Vomiting

There are several possible causes of vomiting. It can be related to the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Allergic reactions to food
  • Appendicitis
  • Brain tumors
  • Cancers
  • Concussion
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • GERD or leaking stomach contents
  • Heart attack
  • Medical treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy
  • Migraines
  • Motion sickness
  • Overeating
  • Poisoning
  • Post-surgery complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Stomach or bowel infections like food poisoning or the stomach flu
  • Ulcers

Vomiting is the primary symptom, although general nausea is another symptom. Some people also feel clammy or very hot when they vomit or experience nausea.


Prevention and Treatment

To prevent nausea and vomiting, there are several things you can do. Try to avoid foods that are heavy on the stomach and eat slowly. It is also a good idea to break your meals into several throughout the day. Drink liquids between meals rather than while you are eating. Rest seated or lying down, whichever comforts your stomach more. Don’t let children be too active after eating a meal to prevent them from vomiting.

When to Visit Urgent Care

Generally, vomiting lasts for a short period and resolves on its own. There are times, however, when you need to visit an urgent care center.

If any of the following occur, you may need to visit urgent care:

  • Adults should seek medical care if vomiting lasts more than a day or there are signs of dehydration.
  • Home remedies aren’t working, or you are dehydrated.
  • Kids over 6 years old should be seen if they have a fever or diarrhea, or if the child hasn’t urinated since the onset of symptoms.
  • Vomiting lasts more than a few days.
  • You could be pregnant.
  • You have an injury, such as a concussion, or you have an infection.
  • Younger children should be seen by a doctor for diarrhea, a fever or dehydration.

You should get medical attention at urgent care if any of the following occurs:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid pulse or breathing
  • Severe stomach pain
  • There is blood or a coffee-ground appearance to the vomit.
  • You have a stiff neck or headache.
  • You have decreased alertness, lethargy or are confused.

UF Health Emergency & Urgent Care Center

Visit UF Health Emergency & Urgent Care Centers for Vomiting Treatment

Regardless of the cause or how old a person is, treatment for vomiting generally includes the following:

  • Avoiding food
  • Drinking large amounts of clear fluids
  • If nausea is associated with pregnancy, consume high-protein snacks before bed. Saltines before getting out of bed can also help. There are drugs for nausea associated with morning sickness, pregnancy and other issues.
  • If vomiting is due to cancer treatments, specific therapy will be prescribed.
  • Rehydrating drinks such as Pedialyte.

At UF Health Emergency & Urgent Care Centers, our primary goal is to provide the residents of Northeast Florida with exceptional service and the proper billing for the care they need. Our combined emergency room and urgent care is fully equipped to handle everything from allergies to chest pain, with on-site labs, X-ray, ultrasound and CT, all under one roof.

The ER and urgent care centers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No appointment is necessary — just walk in!