Vomiting Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Vomiting Definition, Causes, Symptoms

Vomiting is a condition when stomach contents are forced out through the mouth. Different from regurgitation or gastric emptying without contractions, vomiting is accompanied by contractions of the stomach and abdominal muscles. Vomiting itself is not a disease, but a symptom of a health problem.

Vomiting sometimes makes a nauseous person feel better, at least temporarily. However, if it occurs repeatedly, vomiting can increase the risk of dehydration.

In children, the risk of dehydration from vomiting is higher, especially if accompanied by diarrhea. This is because children have not been able to tell the signs and symptoms of dehydration they are experiencing. Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome According to Strong Medicine

Causes of Vomiting

In the brain, there is a part that regulates the body to move automatically when it gets a stimulus. This part of the brain is what stimulates vomiting when it receives certain stimuli.

The stimulation can come from certain health problems or conditions, such as:

  • Reaction to certain scents
  • Eat too much
  • Stress
  • Gastric pains
  • Motion sickness
  • Food poisoning
  • Morning sickness
  • Intestinal obstruction due to hernia
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Side effects of antibiotics, anesthetics, or chemotherapy
  • Migraine
  • Meningitis
  • Injury or concussion
  • Inflammation of the appendix ( appendicitis )
  • Vertigo
  • High blood sugar ( hyperglycemia )
  • Bacterial or viral infections of the digestive tract
  • Infections in the inner ear, such as labyrinthitis

In addition to the above conditions, vomiting that occurs more than once can be a symptom of cyclic vomiting syndrome. Vomiting as a result of this condition can occur many times over a few hours or a few days.

Although it can affect all ages, cyclic vomiting syndrome is most common in children aged 3-7 years.

Symptoms of Vomiting

Before vomiting occurs, usually a person will experience certain signs and symptoms, namely:

  • Dizzy
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • The pulse beats faster
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Weak
  • Nervous

Meanwhile, the common symptoms of cyclic vomiting syndrome are:

  • pale skin
  • Weak
  • Fever
  • Increased saliva production
  • Headache
  • Difficult to eat
  • Sensitive to light
  • Vertigo

As mentioned earlier, vomiting is a symptom of certain medical conditions. Various conditions can make the color of vomit that is issued is different. Here is the explanation:


In general, a person who vomits will expel food that has been digested. However, after a few times, the vomit will turn clear or only filled with water.

Some medical conditions that are generally characterized by clear vomiting are:

  • Morning sickness
  • Brain injury
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • Food poisoning
  • Migraine
  • Acid reflux disease ( GERD )

Green or yellow

Green or yellow vomit can be a sign of bile. This condition generally occurs in patients with gastroenteritis or pregnant women who experience morning sickness.


Orange-colored vomit can be caused by several medical conditions, including:

  • Food poisoning
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Flu
  • Morning sickness
  • Migraine
  • Appendicitis
  • Motion sickness
  • Chemotherapy effects
  • Appendicitis
  • Inner ear infection

Vomiting accompanied by blood

Vomit containing blood can be bright red and look thick. This condition usually occurs as a result of:

  • Liver failure ( liver cirrhosis )
  • Sindrom Mallory-Weiss
  • Various esophagus
  • Sores in the gums or throat
  • amyloidosis


Health problems that cause vomiting that are dark red or tend to be brown like coffee grounds include:

  • Stomach ulcer
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • stomach cancer
  • Aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) poisoning


Vomiting black-like coffee grounds can be caused by the fungal infection phaeohyphomycosis.

When to go to the doctor

Immediately do a self-examination to the doctor if you experience complaints of vomiting that does not improve or get worse.

For parents, be aware of signs of dehydration in children if he vomit repeatedly, such as:

  • Dry lips
  • Dry skin
  • No tears when crying
  • Urinate a little

An examination to the doctor also needs to be done if vomiting is accompanied by some of the following complaints:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • There is blood in the vomit
  • Vomit is brown or black
  • Jesus
  • Nervous
  • Bewildered
  • Severe headache
  • Chest pain
  • Unbearable stomach ache
  • Breathing faster than usual

Vomiting Diagnosis

To diagnose vomiting, the doctor will ask the patient’s medical history, followed by a physical examination. It aims to find out the underlying cause of vomiting.

Your doctor may order blood tests and urine tests to detect signs of infection. Whereas in female patients, the doctor will suggest a pregnancy test.

If needed, the doctor will also recommend a CT scanX-rays, and ultrasound to diagnose vomiting.

Vomiting Treatment

Treatment of vomiting depends on the underlying cause. If vomiting occurs only once and is not accompanied by severe symptoms, treatment can be done at home. Some independent efforts that can be done are:

  • Drink water often to prevent dehydration.
  • Avoid strong smells from certain foods, perfumes, or smoke that can trigger vomiting.
  • Eat foods that are easy to digest.
  • Eat or drink small amounts but often, to avoid vomiting.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods.
  • Take anti-nausea medication if vomiting is caused by motion sickness.

If the above efforts don’t work or if the vomiting gets worse, your doctor may prescribe an antiemetic, such as domperidone or metoclopramide, to relieve nausea and vomiting.

Vomiting Complications

Vomiting that is not treated properly can lead to a number of complications, including:

  • Disorders of acid-base balance
  • Severe dehydration
  • Esophageal irritation
  • Sindrom Mallory-Weiss
  • Severe vomiting in pregnant women

Vomiting Prevention

Ways to prevent vomiting are adjusted to the cause, including:

  • Take an anti-hangover medication, such as dimenhydrinate, before starting the trip
  • Eat in small portions, but more often
  • Chew food slowly
  • Avoid foods that are difficult to digest
  • Do not consume foods or drinks that are too hot or too cold
  • Eat biscuits or other snacks if you feel nauseous in the morning
  • Rest after eating
  • Often drink between meals

Leave a Comment