Just about everyone has experience with vomiting at some point in their life. Most episodes of vomiting resolve on their own in a day or so without medical intervention. But occasionally, it’s important to seek medical attention for vomiting.

Causes of vomiting

Vomiting has many different causes. Gastroenteritis (also known as “stomach flu”) is one of the most common causes of vomiting. Although it’s frequently called the stomach flu, it isn’t a flu at all. Gastroenteritis is a viral infection that is usually short-lived but very uncomfortable. Gastroenteritis is often accompanied by diarrhea, cramps, and a low-grade fever.

Vomiting can also be caused by food poisoning and pregnancy. There are many other, less common causes of vomiting.

When to go to urgent care for vomiting

While most episodes of vomiting will resolve on their own, there are times when you should see an urgent care doctor. See a doctor if:

  • Your vomiting has lasted for two or more days or you’ve had intermittent vomiting for longer than a month
  • You can’t keep down small amounts of clear liquids
  • You think you might be getting dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include dark yellow urine, difficulty urinating, and dry mouth or eyes.

If you come to urgent care for vomiting, let the front desk know. You’ll be able to wait in a triage room instead of in the waiting room. If you’re pregnant and vomiting, contact your obstetrician.

Go to the nearest emergency room for treatment If your vomit is bloody or if your blood pressure is so low that you cannot stand.

What your urgent care doctor can do for vomiting

Your urgent care doctor can’t make your vomiting go away entirely, but they can help you feel a little better. Your doctor can give you an injectable antiemetic (anti-nausea medication) to slow down your vomiting enough that you can take a prescription antiemetic by mouth when you get home. This will enable you to rehydrate, preventing dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities that can cause severe systemic issues.

If you’re beginning to show signs of dehydration, your doctor can also give you fluids.

What you can do for vomiting

If you’re vomiting, the most important thing you can do is try to stay hydrated. Drink clear liquids frequently and in small quantities. You can also chew on crushed ice or eat popsicles to help you stay hydrated. Don’t try to eat anything if you’re vomiting frequently, and make sure to get plenty of rest.

When your vomiting slows down, you can try to eat bland foods such as rice and toast. Avoid greasy or spicy foods. Dairy products can also upset your recovering stomach.

Feeling a little green?

The doctors at MedHelp urgent care can help you get back to normal. No appointment is required for urgent care visits.