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):
  • Zinc Toxicity
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Mesenteric Ischemia
  • Gastritis
  • Food Poisoning
  • Malaria
  • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
  • Ovarian Cysts

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:
moderate abdominal pain
frequent swollen axillary nodes
severe left iliac pain
history of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
history of painful menstrual cramps
significant left iliac pain
absence of copper supplementation
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
bulimia
living in the tropics
excessive flatulence
gastritis
... and more than 50 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
Malaria 98% Confirm
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 28% Unlikely
Food Poisoning 26% Unlikely
Zinc Toxicity 1% Ruled out
Gastritis 1% Ruled out
Ovarian Cysts 1% Ruled out
Mesenteric Ischemia 0% Ruled out
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome 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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Related Questions

Gastrointestinal Symptoms
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