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Last Updated: July 11, 2019
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Vomiting: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments

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.

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

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 (applying pressure on the specific areas)
  • Taking deep breaths or meditation
  • Shifting the focus
  • Keeping yourself rehydrated by avoiding carbonated beverages

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.

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

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