Vomiting is best described as a forceful discharge of the contents in the stomach. This can be linked to something that did not settle right in the stomach. Vomiting that is recurrent can be connected to several underlying medical conditions. If it is frequent, it can lead to dehydration and can be life-threatening if it is left untreated.
Causes of vomiting
Vomiting is considered common. If you eat too much, it can cause an individual to throw up but it is not an issue to be worried about. Take note that it is not a condition, but a symptom of other conditions. The common causes include:
- Food poisoning
- Motion sickness
- Pregnancy-related morning sickness
- Prescription medications
Cases where vomiting is considered as an emergency
Even though vomiting is a common symptom, there are certain conditions that would require emergency assistance. It is important to consult a doctor or go directly to the emergency department at the nearest hospital if the following occurs:
- Vomiting for more than a day
- Severe headache along with stiff neck
- Food poisoning is suspected
- Abdominal pain that is severe
In case blood is present in the vomitus, call for emergency assistance. This is also called as hematemesis in which an individual vomits large amount of red-colored blood, coughs up a substance that appears like coffee grounds and spits up dark-colored blood. The vomiting of blood is often due to ruptured blood vessels, ulcers and a bleeding stomach. In some cases, it can also be caused by some forms of cancer.
Treatment for vomiting
In most cases, the treatment is to address the underlying cause. Always remember that hydration is vital even if the individual only vomits once. As a first aid measure, provide the individual with clear liquids especially those that contain electrolytes. In doing so, it will provide the essential nutrients that were lost through vomiting. Instruct the individual to avoid food for six hours after an episode. Take note that solid foods will only irritate the sensitive stomach, increasing the chances of throwing up again.
In case of frequent vomiting, your doctor can prescribe antiemetic medications. These medications minimize the vomiting episodes. Other remedies include bergamot, ginger as well as lemongrass oil.
Even dietary changes can be implemented in order to help with recurrent vomiting, especially for morning sickness. Foods that can help alleviate vomiting include:
- Small-sized meals throughout the day
- Non-greasy foods
- Products made out of ginger such as ginger ale
- Saltine crackers
How to prevent vomiting
If the vomiting is a symptom of a medical condition, it should be treated right away to prevent vomiting episodes. The triggers of vomiting tend to vary from one individual to another such as eating too much, excessive consumption of alcohol, migraines, stress, exercising after eating, lack of sleep and eating hot or spicy foods. Understandably, it is also best to adopt better lifestyle habits in order to prevent vomiting episodes.