What Is Vomiting?
When the contents of your stomach are voluntarily or involuntarily discharged forcefully via the mouth, it is known as vomiting or emesis. Vomiting is colloquially referred to as throwing up, being sick, puking, hurling, heaving, retching, etc. Vomiting is an uncontrollable reflex that may occur due to something that does not settle correctly in the stomach. Nausea is also a term that is used for the feeling that you want to vomit but not actually vomiting. Both nausea and vomiting occur in both adults as well as children.
Vomiting is not a disease but essentially a symptom or sign of some other problem in the body and can be caused due to several factors. Frequent and recurrent vomiting may be an indication of some basic medical condition.
Vomiting is not painful but at the same time, it is quite unpleasant. Frequent vomiting can cause dehydration and if not treated, can be fatal.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vomiting?
Vomiting commonly occurs when you have infections that range from flu to gastroenteritis and the symptoms that occur along with vomiting are:
- Diarrhea, fever
- Abdominal pain, dry mouth
- Vertigo, lightheadedness
- Rapid pulse, excessive sweating
- Chest pain, fainting
- Confusion, decreased urination
- Excessive sleepiness, vomiting blood
What Are The Causes Of Vomiting?
Vomiting is quite a common thing and by itself, vomiting is not a health condition. However, it can be a symptom of other conditions such as:
Vomiting in adults
- Injury, indigestion
- Illness (viral or bacterial infections), food poisoning
- Motion sickness, headaches
- Morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy
- Prescription medications, emotional stress
- Exposure to chemical toxins, anaesthesia
- Chemotherapy, Crohn’s disease
- Long-term or chronic stomach conditions like celiac disease, dairy protein and lactose intolerance, etc.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, overeating
- Drinking too much of alcohol
- Eating disorders like bulimia
- Serious conditions
- Appendicitis, meningitis
- Concussion, brain tumour
Vomiting in children
- Viral infections, food poisoning
- Severe motion sickness
- High fever, coughing
- Blocked intestines in infants due to a hernia, gallstones, abnormal muscular thickening or tumours.
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome: If the vomiting is not due to any of the above causes and is characterised by vomiting continuously vomiting for around 10 days. Cyclic vomiting syndrome is very common during childhood.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Vomiting?
- If you are vomiting and show signs of dehydration, talk to your doctor immediately.
- Alternative remedies can help to stop vomiting like lemongrass oil, ginger, and bergamot. However, before having any alternative remedy, check with your doctor as they may cause drug interactions.
- Practicing good hygiene and adopting good lifestyle habits like washing your hands regularly can keep away bacteria and viruses that cause infections and vomiting.
- Eat small frequent meals through the day instead of 3 big meals. Also, eat slowly.
- Eat foods that are at room temperature or cold if you feel nauseated by the smell of warm or hot foods.
- Sleeping well can help to prevent vomiting.
- After eating, rest with your head elevated, around 12 inches above your feet.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Vomiting?
- Eat less and avoid solid food when you are feeling like vomiting.
- Avoid drinking liquids during meals. Instead, drink water or liquids between meals.
- Avoid resting in a propped lying position or in the sitting position as this may lead to vomiting.
- Don’t overeat as it can lead to vomiting.
- Avoid exercising after eating, as this will cause you to throw up.
- Avoid stress, as too much of stress and anxiety can lead to vomiting.
- Don’t allow kids to play and eat at the same time, as this can cause them to vomit.
What Are The Best Foods For Vomiting?
- Eat light, bland and dry foods like plain crackers, toast, pretzels, breadsticks or dry cereals the first thing in the morning when you wake up and every few hours during the day. These foods will provide you nutrients, help to settle your stomach and also help to prevent vomiting.
- Try to eat foods that are high in protein like lean meat, nuts or cheese before you go to sleep to prevent vomiting.
- Drink small amounts of water, broths, sherbets and sports drinks to keep you hydrated if you’re vomiting frequently.
- Eating ginger or drinking ginger ale helps to settle your stomach and prevent vomiting.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking clear liquids with electrolytes to provide the vital nutrients that are lost due to vomiting.
- Try eating foods like turkey, poultry or soy if red meat makes you feel like vomiting.
- Eat cooling foods like non-fat yogurt, Jell-O, etc. to settle your stomach.
- Eat boiled, baked or mashed potatoes, rice, low-fat pudding, soups made with low-fat milk, etc. as these foods will not irritate the stomach and cause vomiting.
- Eat foods that are easy to digest like poached chicken breast, poached egg or plain noodles.
What Are The Worst Foods For Vomiting?
- Avoid solid foods that are hard to digest as they irritate the stomach and can cause you to vomit.
- Avoid raw vegetables like beets, corn, cabbage, parsnips, etc. as they are difficult to digest.
- Avoid citrus fruits like oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, and grapefruits as they will irritate the stomach.
- Avoid drinking excessive alcohol as it will cause vomiting.
- Avoid fried and greasy foods like chips, burgers, sausages, etc. as they irritate the stomach and cause vomiting.
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest like pork, salmon, sardines, etc.
- Avoid spicy foods as they will upset your stomach and cause vomiting.
- Avoid processed and sugary foods like white bread, donuts, pastries and canned foods as these can worsen the condition of vomiting.
- Don’t eat sweets as it can cause vomiting.
- Avoid acidic juices like orange juice as they can upset your stomach which can lead to vomiting.
- Avoid sugary liquids such as fruit juice or carbonated fizzy drinks like soda as they can aggravate the feeling of nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid caffeine and caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, etc.
What Are The Medicines For Vomiting?
What Are The Tips To Manage Vomiting?
- If you suffer from motion sickness, then avoid eating any snacks during car rides and look straight out of the window.
- Playing video games or reading in a moving car can cause motion sickness and vomiting.