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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes vomiting and diarrhea in an elderly person?

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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 1943 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 10 May 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: My husband (70) woke up at 6:00 this morning, he had diarrhea, vomiting. I heard him fall so ran to check on him. He had passed out on the floor, I got him to come around and he still had to vomit. He's in bed now
. Can not seem to get warm. Still trying to vomit some but of course his stomach is empty. I am not sure what to do. I asked him if he wanted to drink something, he thought maybe in a little while
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Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please follow the detailed answer.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for the query dear,
Have gone through your details and I appreciate your concerns.

Most likely he is having gastroenteritis usually gastroenteritis is by viral infection(Nova virus) and is self-limiting. Takes five to seven days. However, in some cases, it is either bacterial or protozoal infection or a mixed infection.

Vomiting and diarrhea cause body to lose important electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Secondly, loss of a large amount of water causes dehydration which results in the decrease in blood pressure causing dizziness or presyncope.

The function of blood is to maintain body warmth. Blood consists of 70% water. Now due to dehydration blood volume decreases hence unable to maintain the warm temperature.

I would suggest you to the nearest emergency room and get his blood pressure, pulse, hydration level, and serum electrolytes level checked promptly.

Few tests to be done after that are-
Ultrasound abdomen
Stool microscopy analysis
Complete blood count
Total and differential leucocyte count.
Intravenous fluid would also need to be administered along with antidiarrhoeals like Imodium and antiemetic like Zofran.

Feel free to ask further.

Thanks and Regards!


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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