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Last Updated: Aug 26, 2020
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Vomiting - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Diet And Home Remedies

About Symptoms Causes What to do after vomiting? What to do when u feel like vomiting? Doc Consultation Treatment How to induce vomiting? How can you stop vomiting? Foods to Eat Is Vomiting Harmful? Prevention Home remedies

What is Vomiting?

When food is thrown out of the stomach involuntarily or voluntarily through the mouth, is called vomiting. It happens for a wide variety of reasons like – motion sickness/ seasickness, the first trimester of pregnancy, emotional stress, gall bladder disease, infections, heart attack, overeating, brain tumour, cancers, ulcers, bulimia, and ingestion of toxins or excess alcohol.

What are the signs you feel like vomiting?

Signs of vomiting:

  • Food poisoning: Consuming food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, usually causes food poisoning. Its symptoms are not very severe but if the conditions persist then a person needs to go to the doctor.
  • Indigestion: This is a very common condition which happens to everyone these days because of contaminated food or some of the chronic digestion problems.
  • Stomach flu: Also known as viral gastroenteritis, causes when there is inflammation in the stomach and intestine.
  • Gastritis: Weaken stomach lines allow digestive juices to damage and inflame it. This causes the feeling of vomiting and nausea.

Symptoms of vomiting:

Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, vertigo, excessive sweating, dry mouth, decreased urination, fainting, anxiety, depression, confusion, excessive sleeplessness, blood vomit are some of the common symptoms of vomiting.

What causes vomiting?

The causes of vomiting changes according to the age and condition where everyone has to face a different problem related to it. In children, it is common that they can have a feeling of vomiting due to fever, food poisoning, milk allergy, overeating etc. Normally it appears shortly after meals and most of the time it happens either due to food poisoning, overeating, indigestion, gastritis or ulcers.

The causes of vomiting can vary depending on the underlying condition.

A. Vomiting in adults

Some of the most common causes of vomiting in adults are as follows:

  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Medical conditions such as migraines, motion sickness, vertigo etc.
  • Medications and treatments like chemotherapy

B. Vomiting in babies

Vomiting is a common condition that affects infants and babies. Some of the factors that lead to vomiting in infants and babies are:

  • Gastroenteritis (an infection of the gut)
  • Allergy to certain foods
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix)
  • Accidental ingestion of a poisonous substance

C. Vomiting when pregnant

Vomiting is something that occurs commonly during pregnancy. It is usually due to morning sickness that occurs due to fluctuation in hormone levels during pregnancy. Fluctuations in hormone levels are also known to have an adverse impact on digestion. Slowed digestion can cause:

  • Indigestion
  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn

All the above mentioned conditions can trigger vomiting during pregnancy.

D. Vomiting during menstruation

Vomiting is a common occurrence during menstruation. Prostaglandin is one of the hormones that are released by the female body during the menstrual cycle. Sometimes this hormone gets into the bloodstream and may trigger nausea and vomiting.

What to do after vomiting?

Some of the measures that you can take to recover after a bout of vomiting are:

  • Keep yourself hydrated: Drink water and hydrating fluids to prevent dehydration after vomiting. However, do not drink too much in one go. Remember to sip small amounts. Avoid milk and citric juices.
  • Start with bland foods: Try not to eat anything for a few hours after vomiting. If hungry, consume small amounts of bland foods such as banana, rice, plain yoghurt, oatmeal etc.
  • Avoid foods that may cause irritation: Try to avoid intake of foods and beverages such as spicy foods, milk, tea, cheese, alcohol etc. as these may trigger irritation.
  • Avoid strong smells: Try to avoid inhalation of strong or pungent smell can lead to a gag reflex.

What to do when u feel like vomiting?

These are the things you can do if you feel like vomiting:

  • Sit up to avoid crunching or pressing the stomach
  • Sitting in front of a fan or window helps
  • Acupressure
  • Taking deep breaths or meditation
  • Shifting the focus
  • Keeping yourself rehydrated by avoiding carbonated beverages

When should you visit the doctor for vomiting?

Vomiting is not very serious but if the symptoms start getting worse then it becomes necessary to see the doctor. If vomiting is accompanied by blurred vision, severe pain in the abdomen, the feeling of dizziness, high fever then you are unable to keeping liquid in the body for 12 hours.

How is vomiting treated?

  • Drinking liquids in the larger amount
  • Eating solid foods must be avoided
  • If the feeling of nausea or vomiting lasts for up to 24 hours then there are chances of dehydration hence Pedialyte must be taken to avoid it
  • Discontinue taking oral medicines which irritate the stomach and gives the feeling of vomiting

How to induce vomiting?

Vomiting can be described as the voluntary or involuntary discharge of stomach contents via the mouth in a forceful manner. Vomiting is often induced to get relief from nausea or to get rid of excess food (the latter is a symptom of an eating disorder). Many people induce vomiting when they ingest something deemed harmful or poisonous.

Doctors and medical experts usually warn against inducing vomiting. This is because vomiting is associated with certain risks. The risks are specifically high for people who try to induce vomiting to get rid of the ingested poisonous substance.

Inducing vomiting does not help in removing the poison from the stomach completely. In fact, trying to vomit certain poisons such as acids or chemicals can cause burns or injury to the oesophagus, throat or oral cavity.

According to studies, inducing vomiting is associated with reduced effectiveness of the treatment. In fact, throwing up after ingesting poison can significantly raise the risk of severe complications.

Inducing vomiting is also known to cause:

  • dehydration
  • injury to throat and mouth tissues
  • inhalation of stomach contents into the lungs (aspiration)

Therefore, you should try to avoid inducing vomiting. However, you can induce vomiting under the supervision of a physician. In such a case, carefully follow the instructions of the physician to safely induce vomiting.

How can you stop vomiting?

Vomiting is the way through which the body purges out waste material. The brain and stomach give body permission to throw out contaminated food out of the body. Though vomiting at times is required by the body it needs to be stopped and here are the ways of doing it:

  • Deep breathing: If a person is having a feel to vomit then he/she must try deep breathing through lungs and nose and there should be an expansion in your lungs while breathing. This helps at the time of vomiting. It has been seen in the researches that deep breaths also help in calming down anxiety which is another cause for vomiting.
  • Eating bland crackers: Eating dry crackers that are bland or saltine in taste helps in morning sickness as they absorb acids of the stomach. Bland crackers give relief during the morning sickness and eating them 15 mins before going down to sleep helps your stomach to relax.
  • Drinking more fluids: Due to much vomiting, the body tends to become dehydrated and to prevent the body from being dehydrated you should drink lots of liquid. Fluids that keep the body hydrated are ginger ale, mint tea, lemonade, water.
  • Medications to stop vomiting: Medicines which help to stop medicines are Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate contains bismuth subsalicylate which work to protect the stomach lining thus reducing the impact caused by food poisoning.

What are the foods to eat when vomiting?

Some of the foods that you can think of after a bout of vomiting are:

A. Foods to eat when vomiting

You should not eat anything when vomiting. Consumption of solid foods when vomiting can cause nausea and worsen vomiting. Wait for a few hours before eating any anything. Meanwhile, keep yourself hydrated by sipping on cool water. When hungry, consume bland foods and avoid foods that are spicy or rich in fats, proteins and fibre. Resume your normal meals gradually.

B. Foods to eat after vomiting

Try not to eat anything immediately after vomiting. Wait for a few hours. However, if you feel you hungry or if you have waited for a few hours after vomiting, then you can consume small amounts of bland foods such as banana, rice, oatmeal, plain yoghurt etc.

If possible, try to follow the BRAT (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) Diet. This diet is low on nutrients such as fats, proteins and fibre. Lower intake of these nutrients helps reduce the amount of stool produced. This allows the gut to rest and recover.

C. Liquids to drink after vomiting

Vomiting too frequently can lead to dehydration. Therefore, the first thing to do after vomiting is to hydrate the body. This can be done by drinking water and other hydrating fluids such as lemonade, ginger ale and apple juice. However, do not consume milk or citric fruit juices. Also, avoid sugary beverages as they can cause dehydration.

It is important to remember that water and other hydrating fluids should not be consumed in large quantities immediately after throwing up as that can worsen the condition and lead to more vomiting. Start with sipping small amounts and then gradually increase the intake. If vomiting continues for over 24 hours, then you should consider taking an oral rehydration solution to reduce the risk of dehydration.

D. Foods to help avoid vomiting

There are certain foods that you can consume when feeling nauseated. Intake of the following foods can help overcome nausea and avoid vomiting are : Consume small portions of dry foods, such as dry cereals, toast, and oatmeal.. You can also consume bananas, boiled potatoes, rice etc.

Eat foods that are cool. Avoid intake of hot and spicy foods as they may cause irritation in the stomach and worsen the condition. Avoid sugar and fried foods. Avoid foods that have a strong smell. An intense smell can lead to nausea.

Is Vomiting Harmful?

Vomiting is not harmful to the body as it helps the body to take the harmful substances out of the body but if it becomes unstoppable then it can lead to dehydration in the body. Loss of too much water from the body can be a dangerous situation and needs a doctor. There can be some more example of the seriousness of vomiting like intestinal blockage, brain tumour, meningitis.

How can you prevent vomiting?

These are several ways in which vomiting can be prevented:

  • Eating small meals throughout the day
  • Avoiding food which is hard to digest
  • Foods that are cold or at room temperature must be eaten as the smell of hot food can make you feel nauseated
  • Liquids should not be taken in between foods

What are the home remedies for vomiting?

Vomiting, being a temporary issue/problem, it is caused due to many reasons. Few remedies are very much helpful in treating vomiting, that includes:

  • Ginger: It is beneficial for the digestive system. It is helpful in preventing vomiting as it acts as a natural anti-emetic.
  • Cinnamon: It comes as a handy solution for treating vomiting, which is caused by digestive problems.
  • Apple cider vinegar: It is helpful in treating and comforting an upset stomach. It carries detoxification properties which calms the stomach and produces its effect.

Read More About: Natural home remedies for vomiting treatment at home.

Popular Questions & Answers

Whenever I am sitting straight either on bed or chair I started dry cough and it doesn't stop until I lie down. Also after taking azithromycin 500 1 tab I have done 2,3 times vomits and now nothing is getting digested in my stomach. The point I eat anything after some time I need to go to loo.

General Physician, Hyderabad
Dear user, can you let me. Know is there any pain in the stomsch or any feeling of acidity what all the symptoms you told connect it to a ulcer in the stomach or any disturbance inthe gastro intestinal tract so you need to consult a medical gaster...

I am suffering from balance problems vertigo sinking sensation chronic tinnitus for last 2 years upset stomach excessive gas indigestion etc Dr. Prescribed me thimin 100 mg twice daily livpres supplement twice daily and stemetil 5 mg sos will this cure my chronic problem I am very depressed.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MRCS- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, DLO RCS England, FRCS
ENT Specialist, Bangalore
Dear Mr. lybrate-user, since you have been having symptoms over a long time, it is very important that you see a good ent surgeon and identify the problem so the correct treatment can be given. It would be depressing and stressful to anybody if th...

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