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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18461
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Am a healthy 23 year old male. Started vomiting 6 days ago.

Customer Question

Am a healthy 23 year old male. Started vomiting 6 days ago. Can not keep anything down. Was very weak on day 3 but started gravol and Gatorade. Still vomiting. Went to Doctor yesterday and he took blood tests. Started drinking Boost. Have some strength back but still vomiting. Saw doctor today and went for a CT scan and it is not appendicitis. Doctor says it is just the flu and was sent home. If it persists over 2 weeks then come back. So am not keeping fluids down very well and have no diarrhea. No temperature and no pain unless press on the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.
Should I not worry until I have been sick for 2 weeks or should I go for another opinion. Any ideas from you????
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

It is vastly most likely that this is a viral infection of the gut. Although commonly called a stomach flu, the more proper term is a viral gastroenteritis. If neither the exam, blood tests, or the CT scan indicate another cause, it is appropriate to manage this as a viral infection. So, there is no reason to seek another opinion regarding the diagnosis.

However, the other issue when dealing with a viral gastroenteritis is whether fluid status can be maintained. The human body can actually go for a much longer period of time without food than it can go without fluids. If a severe gastroenteritis is preventing adequate fluid intake, then a person may become dehydrated long before 2 weeks have passed. Consequently, it would be appropriate to be seen sooner than 2 weeks if dehydration is suspected. There are several things that can be monitored at home to assess whether you may be getting dehydrated. The simplest is to monitor weight on a daily basis. This works better if the weight immediately bofore getting sick is known, and then any rapid weight loss during the illness is typically due to the weight of the water that is lost. If the weight immediately before getting sick is not known, then the weight obtained earliest in the course of illness would be the point of reference. A 5% decrease in weight is getting significant, and you should significantly increase fluid intake, but a 10% decrease is a sign of more severe dehydration and you should be seen, even if it has not yet been 2 weeks. Symptom of lightheadedness, rapid heart rate, or a significant decrease in urine output also may indicate that dehydration is starting.

If you can get adequate fluid intake to stave off dehydration, then it would be OK to wait to see if the symptoms improve spontaneously. The vast majority will improve with supportive care, but it would be appropriate to be seen again if the symptoms have not improved by 2 weeks.

Intake of food/calories can wait until there is no longer any fear of inadequate fluid intake or dehydration.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if any further information would be helpful.