It depends on what is causing your problem. While a common cause is a gastrointestinal virus, without a diagnosis from a health care provider, it is possible that your vomiting could be caused by multiple things, among them, food poisoning, a migraine, motion sickness, allergy and alcohol or more serious causes – meningitis, concussion, or other brain disease, gastrointestinal bleeding. Given that the visible symptoms of these illnesses are similar, consult a health care professional to provide a more conclusive diagnosis. Meanwhile, there are various ways to facilitate the healing process. It is recommended to:
1. Get a lot of rest and take it easy.
2. Stay hydrated; take small sips of cold, clear, carbonated or sour drinks, such as ginger ale, lemonade, water, or mint tea.
3. Gradually begin to eat easy-to-digest foods such as soda crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas, rice, and applesauce.
4. Avoid dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods.
5. Be cautious with medications, which can make your stomach more upset.
While most people recover uneventfully from a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, some may become more ill. It is very important to avoid dehydration. In the most severe cases, a person may become confused, unconscious, and/or experience seizures. Continue to sip or drink liquids and not worry about eating until you are clearly on the mend. Sports drinks should be avoided because they have a high concentration of sugar, which can actually cause or aggravate diarrhea. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
Dry, sticky feeling in the mouth, dry eyes or few tears when crying, peeing only tiny amounts of dark yellow urine, dry skin, sunken eyes , fatigue, extreme weakness, and dizziness , thirst, headaches.
If you are dehydrated, start by sipping just a tablespoon of replacement fluid every 15 minutes. When you can hold this down, you can push the time to every 10 minutes, and then every 5 minutes. Then very gradually increase the quantity.
If you contracted a “stomach bug”, it is wise to speak with your healthcare provider. Most "stomach bugs," or gastroenteritis, run their course within 24 - 36 hours, but not until they've caused plenty of discomfort, pain, and even misery. You may have a bacterial infection that will require antibiotics, or some other complication that will require medical treatment. It is always best to come to the Rutgers Health Center or Emergency Room during off-hours, to be evaluated, especially if you have any of the following:
Can't hold anything down for more than 24 hours, have a fever higher than 101.5 F (38.6 C), have severe abdominal pain or cramping, feel faint or woozy, notice blood, red or black, in your stool or vomit, show signs or symptoms of dehydration as per above.