What is vomiting?

Vomiting, also known as throwing up, is forceful emptying of the stomach out of the mouth. Vomiting is almost always a symptom of an underlying condition. To treat the vomiting, your primary care or internal medicine doctor will need to identify the cause.

Common related conditions
Nausea Abdominal Pain

Causes of vomiting

Vomiting can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Viral stomach infections
  • Motion sickness disorder
  • Medication
  • Morning sickness while pregnant
  • GI disorders

Risk factors for vomiting

Risk factors for vomiting are related to the causes, having any of the above conditions put you at greater risk for vomiting.

Symptoms of vomiting

The main signs of vomiting are physical expulsion of food and liquid through the esophagus or dry heaving (act of throwing up with nothing coming up).

Other symptoms that could occur with vomiting include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lightheadedness

Diagnosis of vomiting

Vomiting is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying condition. Your primary care doctor will evaluate all your symptoms together to determine what condition you have and how to treat it.

Treatment for vomiting

Many patients can self-treat during an episode of vomiting. Treatment options include:

  • Eat smaller meals, more often
  • Drink water or clear fluids in small sips
  • Rest
  • Avoid taking oral medication that could upset the stomach
  • Avoid solid food if you have trouble keeping it down

When self-treatment is not effective, your primary care doctor may prescribe medication that can control nausea or vomiting.

Receive Care by Evisit

If you are signed up for Mercy Health MyChart, you are eligible to receive care through Evisit, which gives you quick, convenient access to primary care providers who can diagnose non-urgent medical conditions without the need for an office visit. Evisits requested with the first available doctors, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. should expect a response within one hour of submission.

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