Vomiting is one of the undesirable symptoms in various conditions. Even though it is typically triggered by gastroenteritis, vomiting can also occur during pregnancy, while under cancer treatments, after using certain medications and when experiencing a migraine attack.
When an individual becomes sick with a viral condition that triggers vomiting, the lining of the stomach becomes irritated and inflamed. When the individual tries to eat or drink, it can cause further irritation on the lining which causes it to expel the stomach contents. Oftentimes, the irritation can be severe or the reflex is highly sensitive that it causes persistent vomiting even after the stomach is already emptied. In such cases, the individual can vomit bile.
Vomiting can also be triggered by brain issues such as a head injury, infection or migraine headache or inner ear issues such as motion sickness or dizziness. In such cases, vomiting can occur without involving irritation of the GI tract. Among older children and adults, the usual cause of vomiting is viral gastroenteritis.
What to do for vomiting?
If an individual starts vomiting, there are several measures that can be done to manage it. Even though it is only an indication of certain conditions, the measures carried out can affect how the individual recovers.
Always bear in mind not to eat or drink anything right after an episode of vomiting. Even though it can be tempting to at least drink something after throwing up since the mouth tastes terrible, doing so will only trigger vomiting. In case the stomach is draining itself, it requires time to rest and unwind before anything is added. It is vital to pause at least 15 minutes before attempting to eat or drink anything.
Can I use the BRAT diet?
Generally, allowing the stomach to rest and eating bland, starch-based foods for 1-2 days after vomiting can be observed. These foods are gentle to the stomach and less likely to irritate the stomach.
If the individual could not eat foods that are included in the BRAT diet, a doctor should be consulted regarding suitable alternatives.
When to consult a doctor?
Oftentimes, vomiting can be severe that it could no longer be managed at home or triggered by something serious that entails medical care. If the individual has vomited multiple times throughout the day for more than 24 hours, it is vital to consult a doctor.
It is also vital to seek medical care if the individual vomits blood or if the vomit appears similar to coffee grounds. Additionally, if the individual has a severe headache and a stiff neck along with vomiting, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.