Duration Of Current Vomiting Episodes

What Causes Chronic Vomiting?

Chronic vomiting can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose chronic vomiting, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "chronic vomiting" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Gastroenteritis
  • West Nile Virus
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Chronic Renal Insufficiency

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
meal-related pain for over a month
recent onset diarrhea
coffee consumption
meal-induced pain for under a week
moderate abdominal pain
stomach cancer
severe meal-induced pain
very great unexplained weight loss
moderate epigastric pain
meal-related pain for 1-4 weeks
sensitivity to bright light
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of chronic vomiting:
Cause Probability Status
West Nile Virus 97% Confirm
Gastroenteritis 29% Unlikely
Mesenteric Ischemia 22% Unlikely
Chronic Renal Insufficiency 3% Ruled out
Epstein-Barr Virus 2% Ruled out
Heartburn 1% Ruled out
Stomach Cancer 0% Ruled out
Ectopic Pregnancy 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Gastrointestinal Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about duration of current vomiting episodes:
If you suffer significantly from unexplained vomiting (at least once per week), for how long has this been a problem?
Possible responses:
→ It is not a problem / don't know
→ It started within the last week
→ It started within the last month
→ I've had it for 1 to 3 months
→ I've had it for over 3 months
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no significant vomiting, recent onset vomiting, vomiting for 1-3 months or chronic vomiting, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Ovarian Cysts

There are three different ways in which ovarian cysts can cause chronic vomiting: 1) When an ovarian cyst ruptures, fluid and sometimes blood are released into the ovary or surrounding tissues; 2) In some women the cause can be severe pain from a cyst; 3) Irritation of tissues in the abdomen.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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Gastrointestinal Symptoms
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