The Lowdown on Vomiting: Understanding How to Avoid and Treat It
No one likes to talk much about vomiting, let alone experience it. Unfortunately, though, it’s something that we’ve all pretty much had to deal with at one time or another, often many times over our lives.
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This health disturbance isn’t just an inconvenience but can also be the symptom of much more severe emotional and physical troubles. It can lead to negative consequences if you get a terrible, prolonged bout of it, too.
Here’s the info you need to know about this not-so-pleasant yet common occurrence, so you know how to help yourself and your family next time the issue arises.
You’ve no doubt experienced it, but do you know the functions behind vomiting? Whenever you “throw up,” your stomach muscles contract and push whatever is in your stomach up and out through your mouth. In most cases, people feel very nauseous before this happens, but they may not 100 percent of the time.
Common Causes of Vomiting
One common cause of vomiting is motion sickness from being in a boat, vehicle, or theme park ride and the swaying motion from this. A conflict within the body’s balance-system senses can lead to the need to vomit. If you have a bacterial infection in your ear and this balance part gets out of whack, you might also throw up.
Other common causes include migraines, head injuries, or too many toxins, poisons, or chemicals getting into the blood (alcohol and drugs factor in here). Many people get an upset stomach due to something they’ve eaten. This could stem from food poisoning or crop up because of food intolerances. Plus, there’s gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu. This sickness isn’t the flu, though, but rather a norovirus issue. These viruses can spread from eating undercooked or raw shellfish, fruit, or vegetables or directly from a person who’s already infected.
Many women vomit during pregnancy, in large part because of hormonal changes. Some people have to vomit because of acid reflux, when stomach acid travels upwards, or from gallstones or ulcers. You might have to throw up because of medications you’re taking or treatments you have to undergo, such as chemotherapy, where a common side effect is nausea and vomiting. If your stress levels rocket upwards, you may have to throw up, too, or if you have an eating disorder, such as bulimia.
The above are some of the most common reasons for vomiting. However, there are some more unusual reasons it’s worth knowing about, too. For example, people might vomit due to a brain tumor, pancreatitis, a bowel blockage, inflammatory bowel disease, or gynecological problems.
See a Doctor If Needed
In most cases, vomiting stems from a benign health issue that will clear up quickly or is otherwise no big cause for concern. However, there are times when it’s essential to see a doctor, for example, i0f you continue vomiting for more than 24 hours and you become dehydrated, seeing a virtual doctor or a physician in person, or a hospital would be recommended.
It’s also worth seeing a medical practitioner if you’re vomiting plus have other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, lethargy, a stiff neck, or severe headache. Get to a doctor if your pulse or breathing is rapid, your fever gets over 101 degrees, you see blood in your vomit, or you’re confused or less alert than you should be.
Tips for Treating Vomiting
Vomiting is a horrible feeling and experience, so you want to treat the issue as quickly as possible. You should feel better if you rest up, stay hydrated, and avoid food, especially solid stuff, while you’re in the midst of a vomiting period. Keep fluids in you by sipping slowly on liquids such as water, herbal tea, broth, and the like, or suck on natural frozen fruit pops.
It’s best to avoid dairy products when you’re throwing up, as well as tobacco and alcohol. When you feel a little better, start eating something small but stick with bland options such as dry crackers, toast, or cereal, or bananas. If you’re vomiting due to stress, help yourself by breathing deeply, meditating, taking a bath, or doing some visualization.
If you’re vomiting because of certain medicines, you may need to stop taking them for a time, reduce the dosage, or swap to a different product. Speak to your doctor about the best way forward in this situation. If you’re throwing up due to an ear infection, motion sickness, or pregnancy, a physician may prescribe you some medicine to help counteract the vomiting caused by these conditions.
Vomiting is an unpleasant health concern and one you want to avoid as much as possible. The more you educate yourself on causes and treatments, the better you should be able to feel.
Armen Hareyan is the editor of eMaxHealth.com. He started eMaxHealth in 2005 and since then is the Editor in Chief of this health publication. eMaxHealth.com as achieved the trust of its readers by following the HON Code of Conduct, which can be verified here. You can follow Armen on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Health information in all stories can be verified by using the provided references and Abstracts.