When should I see a doctor?


Q: I have been vomiting and have had watery stools for almost 72 hours. I also have a headache and the back of my neck has been hurting on and off. How ling should I wait to see a doctor?

Symptoms:  Vomiting, liquid stools, headache, neck ache

A:   Thank you for contacting ask the doctor.
This could be a case of food poisoning/bacterial/viral/parasitic infection.
I recommend a visit to a physician immediately. There could be a possibility of dehydration from all the vomiting and watery diarrhea. A stool examination, Blood culture, hematological tests, Urine test, Electrolyte levels, etc are some of the diagnostic procedures.
Treatment would depend on the cause. Bacterial infections would require anti-bacterial directed toward the bacteria causing the infection. Viral infections would require symptomatic treatments and self care measures. Parasitic infection would require antiamoebics, antihelminthics etc depending on the causative parasite.
Irrespective of the cause, treatment for dehydration depends on the severity of dehydration. Keep drinking electrolytes rich water (ORS ) and keep yourself re hydrated. In extreme conditions IV fluids may be given.
Hope this information was useful.

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