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Suffering from severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Started vomiting. Is this food poisoning?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 2105 Questions
My wife is suffering from severe abdominal pain that radiates to her lower back and kidneys. Diarrhea for the last two days. In the last day, she has begun vomiting mostly clear fluid with a few yellow globules. Just now, she is vomiting clear fluid with lots of yellow globs interspersed with a few XXXXXXX circular-looking fuzzy spheres about the size of a pinky nail. Diarrhea has stopped for past six hrs. Low grade fever of 99-100 for duration. Unable to retain fluids for more than 30 minutes. Unable to retain food (rice/bread) for more than 15 minutes. Symptoms resemble food poisoning I had a few years ago, except I had no weird vomiting. Local nurse agrees and thinks maybe food poisoning. Advised to wait it out until 48 hrs hits. Performed some hydration home tests and seems on the lower end of normal. Please advise.
Sat, 10 Nov 2012 in TMJ
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 3 hours later
Thanks for writing your query.

I have read your post with due diligence and I think that your wife is suffering from Acute Gastroenteritis. It can be due to food poisoning.

Vomitus containing yellow or XXXXXXX liquid can be due to presence of bile in her vomit.
Pain in the abdomen can be due to hyperactivity of the normal intestinal contractions (peristalsis) and can occur due to infection or inflammation.

Severe vomiting and loose motion can result in dehydration, which your local nurse has already checked. Dehydration can be XXXXXXX if severe.

As your wife is not able to retain fluids or food, you must take her immediately to Emergency Department and should get her examined for dehydration, her vitals like blood pressure and get her investigated for serum electrolytes and Renal function, as dehydration can affect these.

In my opinion she needs intravenous fluid like Ringer Lactate / DNS / Isolyte solution after assessing her status.

She should also get intravenous antiemetic injection like Ondansteron , antacid injection like Ranitidine and antibiotic and antiamoebic to treat the infection.

You should take care that her hydration is maintained as this is very important in loose motion and vomiting.

She will be able to retain oral fluids and foods after start of the above mentioned medications. After that , you should start with light diet. Avoid spicy and oily foods. Give her pure filtered water to drink.

If she were to walk into my emergency, I would give her the following medication.

1. Tab. Ranitidine 150 mg twice a day
2. Tab. Domperidone 10 mg once a day. If vomiting continues can be given twice a day.
3. Tab. Ciprofloxacin 500mg twice a day.
4. Tab. Ornidazole 500mg twice a day.
5. Probiotic once a day.
6. Electrolyte solution.
However, given the circumstances, I would urge you to take her to the ER and start her on appropriate treatment under the supervision of a physician.
I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any doubts, I will be happy to help.
Wishing for a speedy recovery of your wife.
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