How do we vomit

What is vomiting?

A bad stomach usually triggers a strong but brief nausea. Once they vomited, many of those affected even feel relieved. However, vomiting is often an accompanying symptom of a disease such as a gastrointestinal infection. Only in rare cases is there a serious illness behind the nausea. Pregnant women can also experience severe nausea and frequent vomiting in the first few months of their pregnancy.

If symptoms persist, see a doctor

Vomiting is not a disease in its own right, but a symptom. Depending on the disease, those affected may suffer from other symptoms, for example:

  • nausea
  • Sensation of pressure or fullness
  • Eructation
  • Stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fever
  • a headache

If you vomit repeatedly, your body loses a lot of fluids, which can cause it to become dehydrated. Small children, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk. Consult your family doctor if the above symptoms do not go away or even get worse.

If you have any of the following complaints, call the emergency doctor immediately:

It happens in the body

In the course of history, humans learned to avoid certain substances that are toxic to them. Spoiled, bad-smelling foods can already make you feel sick or gag you.

A certain area of ​​the central nervous system, the so-called vomiting center, is responsible for this protective reflex. If intruders attack the gastrointestinal tract, the nerve cells in the center sound the alarm. The diaphragm and abdominal muscles then contract, putting pressure on the stomach.

Exclusion diagnosis

Because there are many different causes for vomiting, your doctor will use a step-by-step approach to diagnosing it. It is important that you first describe your observations over the last few hours or days to him in as much detail as possible. It can play a role

  • how long you have been suffering from the symptoms,
  • when and how badly you vomit (for example after certain meals),
  • what the vomit looks like (for example yellowish or bloody),
  • whether you suffer from other complaints such as headache or abdominal pain and
  • whether you have lost a lot of weight since then.

Other important information for the doctor can be

  • whether you have recently been abroad,
  • whether you are taking certain medications for the short or long term and
  • whether you or someone in your family have chronic illnesses.

Most of the time, after the anamnesis, the doctor already suspects which illness might be causing your vomiting. Accordingly, he will conduct certain investigations. If necessary, he will

  • Palpate your abdomen to check if it is hard or tender
  • check bowel sounds with a stethoscope,
  • Take your blood and have it checked for inflammation levels in a laboratory - you may also have to give a stool or urine sample at the same time - and
  • Look at your abdomen using an ultrasound machine.

Depending on the findings, further examinations may be necessary.

The stomach contents are not always the trigger

Often times, gastrointestinal disorders make you vomit. These include, for example, a gastrointestinal infection, inflammation of the stomach lining or, in more serious cases, stomach ulcers. The intestines and other organs such as the pancreas or esophagus can also be affected. Sometimes advanced cystitis also leads to nausea and vomiting.
The head can be another trigger for nausea. A sunstroke, a migraine or a winding car ride can be just as uncomfortable as serious neural diseases. These include, for example, head injuries, a concussion or a stroke.

Hormonal disorders or changes, metabolic diseases, poisoning, for example from food or alcohol consumption, allergies or certain drugs can lead to nausea and vomiting. Likewise, stress and great emotional distress or a recent surgery can put strain on the stomach.

Therapy and tips

Following the examinations, the doctor will choose the most suitable treatment for your symptoms. This depends on the diagnosis and can vary accordingly. While the doctor will mainly advise you to rest and eat bland food in the event of a gastrointestinal infection, he can treat stomach ulcers with medication. In severe cases, surgery may also be necessary.

Regardless of this, there are a few things you can do yourself to alleviate your symptoms:

  • Put a cool towel or washcloth on your forehead to help relieve the dizziness.
  • Running some cold water over your wrists can also help to get your circulation going.
  • Drink enough water or unsweetened tea to restore your fluid balance. Take small sips so as not to strain your stomach.
  • In the case of acute complaints, you should not eat anything for the first few hours and then only eat light food in the form of pretzel sticks or rusk Go easy on your stomach in the following days with small, easily digestible meals such as cooked oatmeal or mashed banana.
  • You can rinse your mouth for a better taste. Use tea or water instead of spicy mouthwashes to go easy on your stomach.
  • A warm cherry stone pillow or a hot water bottle on your stomach relaxes and can help against abdominal pain and cramps.
  • Treat yourself to some rest and put your legs up in the truest sense of the word. When you feel a little fitter again, you can take short walks in the fresh air to get your circulation going again.