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Getting headache, stomachache, cold and vomiting. Should I visit ER?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Hi, My Mom is 65 years old, she woke up last night around 1 am with a bad headache, threw up, and was weak all day.. when I came home from work around 5pm she still had a very bad headache that has progressed to more vomiting, stomach pains, she is super weak, can barely speak, and is feeling hot and cold, but no fever. She ate strawberries last night before bed, I don't know if this is food poisoning or if I should get her to a hospital. Is there any information you can provide that may help? Thank you
Posted Mon, 11 Mar 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 26 minutes later

Thank you for writing to us.

In my opinion, due to your mother's presentation, there could be two or three possibilities here. They are:

-Gastroenteritis: A stomach infection due to the consumption of contaminated food. This will require antibiotic therapy, probiotics to promote digestion (to remove the contaminated food), antacids and an oral rehydration solution. Although fever normally accompanies this infection
-Vertigo: This is a symptom that causes severe headaches, dizziness and nausea. It results in difficulty in balance. The dizziness and nausea can at times result in vomiting (which relieves the headache for a while). The vomiting causes abdominal pain. And usually no fever is seen. As mentioned earlier, this is only a symptom, and once confirmed, we will have to find the cause for this
-Toxicity/poisoning from other substances: will require neutralization

Please take her to a doctor at the earliest, who will run a few tests (blood work) to rule out/diagnose the infection, and conduct an elaborate examination to diagnose the vertigo (if present) or the poisoning.

I hope this information helps. Do write back to me for further clarifications, and I would be glad to assist you. Wishing your mother a speedy recovery.

Best wishes.
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