Causes of Vomiting And Nausea

Everything You Need to Know About Vomiting and Nausea

Vomiting (medically referred to as emesis) is the body’s way of getting rid of the harmful substances from the stomach via the mouth and nose. Vomiting is usually accompanied by nausea, which is an unpleasant feeling of unease or discomfort in the stomach and often happens before the actual vomiting. The condition is common among young children, adults, pregnant or menstruating women and babies and should only last a day or two. However, vomiting frequently can be a warning sign of a medical emergency or a serious problem. In this informative blog, learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of vomiting, and when it’s considered an emergency.

The Possible Causes of Vomiting And Nausea

Vomiting or emesis is a forceful, involuntary or voluntary ejection of the undigested contents in the stomach through the mouth. Nausea is described as an unpleasant feeling of discomfort or uneasiness that often accompanies the urge to vomit. Moreover, certain odours create a feeling of nausea. It is important to note that nausea does not always lead to the ejection of stomach contents Vomiting and nausea are not diseases but rather symptoms of many illnesses. Most often, vomiting and nausea in both adults and children can be a result of indigestion, food poisoning or gastroenteritis. But there can be many other causes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the possible causes of vomiting in adults, babies, and pregnant or menstruating women.

1. Vomiting And Nausea in Adults

Some of the most common causes of vomiting include:

  • Food poisoning 
  • Overeating or indigestion 
  • Gastrointestinal infection 
  • Motion sickness 
  • Migraine headaches 
  • Use of certain medications like morphine, antibiotics or anaesthesia 
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Anxiety 
  • Severe pain  
  • Excessive alcohol consumption 
  • Gallstones 
  • Ingestion of toxins 
  • Stomach ulcers

2. Vomiting in Toddlers And Babies

Toddlers and babies may vomit for a number of reasons. The possible causes of vomiting in babies include:

  • Milk intolerance 
  • Overfeeding or overeating 
  • Food allergies 
  • Crying too much 
  • Obstruction in the intestines 
  • Swallowing milk too quickly 
  • Severe cough and cold (babies and toddlers with severe cough and cold tend to throw up) 
  • Other types of infections include middle ear infections, urinary tract infections

3. Vomiting And Nausea During Menstruation

Changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle can make women nauseous and make them vomit. Some women also suffer migraine headaches during menstruation, which can also cause vomiting.

4. Vomiting And Nausea During Pregnancy

Some of the common causes of vomiting and nausea in expecting mothers include:

  • Acid reflux 
  • Morning sickness or extreme morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) caused due to the rise in hormones 
  • Sensitivity to certain tastes or smells 
  • Food poisoning 
  • Migraine headaches

The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Vomiting

As already mentioned, vomiting and nausea can sometimes be warning signs of more serious problems. Some of the common symptoms that occur with vomiting and nausea include:

Common Signs And Symptoms of Vomiting
  • Dry mouth 
  • Chest Pain 
  • Decreased Urination
  • Fainting 
  • Fever  
  • Stomach Pain 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Confusion or Light Headedness 
  • Excessive Sleepiness 

As mentioned, vomiting and nausea are very common but you should contact your doctor immediately if you have: 

  • Blood in the vomit or it is green 
  • Severe headache 
  • Vomited for longer than one day 
  • Infrequent urination or dark Coloured Urine

Frequently Asked Questions About Vomiting

1. What is the Meaning of Vomiting And Nausea?

Vomiting is the body’s way of getting rid of the harmful substances from the stomach through the mouth and nose.  Nausea is described as an unpleasant feeling of discomfort or uneasiness that often accompanies the urge to vomit.

2. What Are the Main Causes of Vomiting?

The causes of vomiting may include motion sickness, food poisoning, indigestion, dizziness, stress, pregnancy, stomach ulcers and ear infection.

3. Is Vomiting Harmful?

While single time vomiting is considered normal, frequent vomiting can be an indication of many severe health issues. There are safe treatments that can make you feel better and prevent symptoms from getting worse.

Diagnosis of Vomiting And Nausea

The condition of vomiting and nausea is diagnosed by a healthcare provider on some basis which includes the medical history of the patient, physical exam, and the pattern of symptoms in children as well adults. Urine and blood tests may also be performed to look for the signs of infection. A pregnancy test may also be needed for women.

Treatment Options For Vomiting And Nausea

Treatment options for vomiting and nausea usually depend on the cause. After determining the cause of vomiting and nausea, there are some medicines that your healthcare provider can prescribe you if the symptoms of vomiting are not getting better on their own. However, most episodes of nausea and vomiting can be easily treated at home. There are many helpful things that can be done to feel better: 

  • Drink lots of clear liquids to stay hydrated 
  • Soft drinks and juices should be avoided 
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals 
  • Avoid fatty and spicy foods 
  • Sip drinks slowly 
  • Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after a meal 
  • Avoid using strong perfumes 
  • Avoid physical activity right after eating 
  • Do deep breathing exercise


Vomiting and nausea causes due to many reasons, and most of the reasons are natural. But frequent vomiting episodes should not be ignored, as they can indicate several severe health issues.  

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