What causes lack of appetite along with vomiting?

Posted on Thu, 16 Nov 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: for the past couple of days I've been having the runs accompanied by going the bathroom every 2-4 hours. Also, I noticed a decrease in my apatite. There have been several occasions where I felt that I was going vomit but I didn't get nauseous enough to do it. What could be causing these symptoms?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

If you live in the United States, then the most common cause of your symptoms is a viral gastroenteritis which is commonly caused "stomach flu" (but isn't actually related to flu). This usually starts 1-3 days after being exposed to the virus. It usually lasts around 2-3 days, but can go on for up to 10 days.

Food guidelines for stomach "flu" are to give your digestive tract a rest except for having plenty of fluids. These fluids can be water, coconut water (which tastes awful in my opinion but is an excellent rehydration fluid because of a good balance of sugar and electrolytes), and a small amount of clear soda such as 7 up or ginger ale. No cola, coffee, alcohol, milk, fruit juice, etc.

When you are able to eat a bit again, start with small amounts of bland foods. Examples of foods for this illness are bananas, rice, apple sauce (not raw apples), toast, plain crackers, and unseasoned chicken (salt and small amount of oil on it is ok). Rice is especially helpful: if it is cooked with extra water for a longer period of time than called for, it can be "binding" and help slow down movement through the digestive tract.

When you tolerate these things, you can return to your normal diet.

Sometimes the fluid and electrolyte losses (particularly potassium) can be severe from diarrhea. If you are feeling unusually thirsty or light headed, or your heart is racing; or if your diarrhea doesn't slow down, then go in to the ER where they can examine you, assess you for dehydration, and do a blood test to see if your electrolytes are Ok. They can give you an IV to help replace fluid and electrolyte losses. I have seen that sometimes just having bowel rest and replacing the fluid and potassium losses with an IV can shut down the process of continued diarrhea or vomiting.

You can also try an over the counter antidiarrheal medication such as Pepto-Bismol. And get plenty of rest so your immune system is in good shape.

There can be other causes for diarrhea and nausea, but if this just came on 2 days ago and you have been healthy without significant problems before this and on no new medications, it is the most likely cause.

I hope this information helps.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3131 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  
Lab Tests

Recent questions on  Viral gastroenteritis

doctor1 MD

I was nauseous 2 days ago, but no vomiting . Yesterday and today I have no pain or nauseousness, but I am having a regular bowl movement about 45...

doctor1 MD

I would like to know what the result means

doctor1 MD

I have been leaking a clear liquid from my rectum

doctor1 MD

My wife went to the emergency room on april, 21st and was treated for Viral Gastroenteritis. The symptoms went away for like 24 hours and have...

doctor1 MD

I am 40yr old, 5'7" 115lb very active female and have been experiencing stomach issues for the past 3 weeks. I do not drink, smoke, use caffeine,...

doctor1 MD

I recently had viral gastroenteritis and discovered that my white blood cell count was low at 2.7 then rechecked at 2.2 . COuld it be something...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

125 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction