Vomiting is an uncomfortable illness that causes dehydration. It is more severe in seniors and young kids. When left untreated, vomiting can lead to kidney failure due to excessive dehydration.
Let’s look at what causes vomiting, how to stop it, foods to avoid, how to rehydrate, and when to seek medical attention.
What Causes Vomiting
Vomiting is how your body responds to harmful foreign bodies such as bacteria and other toxins. It can also be a symptom of underlying conditions that can have serious effects when not treated early enough.
There are many causes of vomiting, but they vary depending on age. The most common causes include:
- Viral gastroenteritis
- Morning sickness
- Motion sickness
- Intestinal Obstruction
- Food poisoning
The illness can be short-term or long-term. Although it is hard to keep anything down when vomiting, you can stop it using different approaches. Read on to learn how.
How to Help Stop Vomiting
Stopping vomiting is a gradual process that does not necessarily require medication. Some of the effective ways of stopping it include:
Crackers and dry toasts are typical examples of bland foods. They help settle your stomach by absorbing stomach acids.
Take controlled deep breathing by breathing in for about one minute and slowly breathe out. This practice activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps prevent vomiting.
Avoid strong odors
Some people love using strong fragrances on their clothes or making the air in their homes smell good. When vomiting, these may not be a good idea as they may worsen the illness.
Minimize physical activities and allow your body to rest. Being too active irritates your stomach, making you vomit uncontrollably.
Consider resting while sitting in an upright position. It helps reduce vomiting by soothing your stomach muscles.
Sucking hard candies
Vomiting leaves your mouth smelling and tasting bad. The smell can make you feel worse and continually vomit.
To stop vomiting, consider sucking hard candies. They help neutralize the bad taste and smell, leaving you with a refreshing mint or lemon drop taste.
This remedy originates from traditional Chinese medicine. With acupressure, pressure is applied to specific points in the body for three to six minutes.
BRAT diet soothes your stomach and is highly recommended. However, the diet is limiting since it does not have all the nutrients the body needs.
If you are wondering what BRAT stands for, it is a short name for bananas, rice, apples, and toast. These do not irritate the stomach and are easy to keep down.
As you try so hard to stop vomiting, some foods can worsen the illness and should be avoided. Let us look at some of them.
Foods to Avoid When Vomiting
Vomiting makes you feel down, and you should avoid anything that can worsen it. Some foods are known to aggravate it, and you should stay away from them. They are:
- Fast foods
- Some cheese varieties such as bleu and Roquefort
- Beans and lentils
- Vegetable and fiber
- Citrus fruits
- Dried fruit
- Added sugars and sweets
When you avoid these foods, you accelerate your recovery from vomiting. But you need to do more to start rehydrating your body.
Rehydrating After Vomiting
Vomiting makes your body weak and dehydrated from the loss of body fluids. When the illness is gone, you can hydrate your body in the following ways:
IV therapy is able to quickly rehydrate you as the fluids in the IV bags bypasses your digestive tract and gets to work.
At Reset IV, we offer a full service IV therapy experience. Our nurses will travel to your home or hotel and will quickly give you the hydrating relief that you need.
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Drink clear fluids
You can start by drinking a teaspoon of clear fluids such as water, electrolyte drinks, or sports drinks every 10 minutes. When you feel better, increase the quantity to a tablespoon and repeat the process every 30 minutes.
You can then advance to sipping, but do not rush the process. Follow your body’s reaction. It is also fine to take breaks when you find it overwhelming.
It is a great choice, especially if you can’t keep fluids down. They are absorbed in your mouth through the mucous membrane, which helps protect your body from excessive dehydration.
When you can comfortably drink water without throwing up, try having some chicken or beef broth before eating solid foods. It helps in providing your body with electrolytes and water and creates appetite.
Keep your body cool
It helps in preventing further loss of body fluids. You can keep your body cool by staying under the shade, removing excessive clothing, or staying in an air-conditioned room.
Use oral rehydration salts (ORS)
The option is great when you can keep fluids down. Mix the salt with boiled or treated water, sip it slowly, and add more as needed to keep you hydrated while replacing lost electrolytes.
When to Seek Medical Help
Vomiting can, in most cases, be treated at home without the intervention of a doctor. However, some situations worsen and can be fatal when ignored.
Some instances that should make you consult a physician include:
- Blood in your vomit
- Prolonged vomiting that lasts more than one week. Sometimes, it can be on and off for over a month.
- Weight loss
- If you suspect you are pregnant
- When you suspect an injury is causing vomiting
- When home remedies are not working
- Rapid breathing
- Decreased alertness
- Severe abdominal pain
Although vomiting should not cause an alarm, you should be vigilant when dealing with young children and seniors. They can become overly dehydrated from the sickness.
If you or your loved one is experiencing this illness, consider these remedies to help ease it. However, you should not use the information to substitute medical advice. Consider seeking medical assistance if you do not see any improvement after the first 36 hours from when you first vomited.