Excessive vomiting can do more damage than you think.
An upset stomach, tummy problems, the stomach bug: There are a lot of ways to shrug off nausea. When it comes to excessive vomiting, however, there are no pet names to shoulder the extreme and uncomfortable symptoms. Not only can excessive vomiting lead to a number of critical health concerns, but it can also be a symptom of a larger health issue. Either way, your excessive vomiting is not something to leave unchecked—especially if you are a senior or someone who already has an underlying health concern. For these individuals, even a mild case of nausea and moderate vomiting could trigger a variety of issues. If your elderly loved one is extremely nauseous or has been excessively vomiting, instead of navigating a trip to the ER, turn to DispatchHealth for non-life-threatening conditions. We offer convenient, in-home medical care for seniors and anyone else with minor to extreme health concerns—including excessive vomiting—allowing them to receive the medical attention they need in the comfort of their own homes.
If this is an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.
Nausea symptoms & when to seek treatment
Nausea and vomiting are both extremely unpleasant and are usually symptoms of an illness or underlying health concern. That being said, the most common symptom that occurs with nausea is vomiting. To understand the severity and cause of your symptoms, it’s important to also watch for other symptoms associated with nausea including:
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased urination
While most mild cases of nausea will pass or can be easily treated with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, extreme cases of nausea that include any of the aforementioned symptoms and vomiting should be carefully monitored.
When should you seek medical treatment for nausea and vomiting? If the symptoms are excessive—lasting more than one day—and accompanying any of the following signs, you need to seek medical attention immediately:
- You’re experiencing sustained abdominal pain
- Your vomit contains blood
- You have a severe headache in addition to excessive vomiting, especially if you haven’t experienced a throbbing headache like this before
- You are showing signs of dehydration—which typically include thirst, dry mouth, infrequent and dark-colored urination, weakness, or dizziness/lightheadedness upon standing
What causes excessive vomiting in seniors?
Everyone will experience nausea at least once in their lives, as it can be caused by a wide variety of triggers or conditions, from motion sickness to the flu. Excessive vomiting in seniors, however, is more likely a sign of an underlying health concern caused by one of the following conditions:
- Foodborne illnesses (food poisoning)
- Urinary tract infection
- Bacterial or viral infections, like the “stomach bug”
- A neurologic event
- Bowel obstruction
- Cardiac ischemia
- Acid reflux or GERD
- A reaction to intense pain
- Crohn’s disease
Certain medications and chemotherapy may also lead to excessive vomiting. For seniors with extreme nausea, make sure to check with their primary care physician to report the symptoms and provide a list of medications.
How to treat excessive vomiting in seniors
Extreme nausea and excessive vomiting in seniors is not something that you can always treat at home. And, the best treatment will often depend on the timing of the nausea, the reason behind the symptom, and how long it has been present. In seniors, nausea and excessive vomiting is commonly caused by foodborne illness or viral infections, but it could also be a sign of gastroenteritis, liver disease, or Crohn’s. If your elderly loved one is extremely nauseous and vomiting, the most important thing to do is keep them hydrated to avoid dehydration.
If left untreated
If left untreated, excessive vomiting can severely impair the elderly and lead to dehydration. Dehydration can onset quickly in seniors and is a serious health risk for aging adults, resulting in a number of health issues like kidney failure, brain swelling, low blood volume, increased stress on the heart, seizures, and even coma and death if left untreated.
If your elderly loved one is experiencing excessive vomiting and showing signs of dehydration, you don’t have to deal with it alone; DispatchHealth is here to help. We can treat excessive vomiting, dehydration, the flu, and other relative conditions in seniors from the comfort of their own homes, helping them find the source of condition and treating it without a trip to the ER. DispatchHealth also prioritizes continuity of care with our service; our teams will send a detailed follow-up report to your elderly loved one’s primary care physician after our visit, as well as send any necessary prescriptions to their pharmacy.
If your elderly loved one needs treatment for excessive vomiting, turn to DispatchHealth. Contact us today to receive care.