Vomiting is usually a mild medical problem, but uncontrollable vomiting may not be regarded as such. The data below helps you understand this condition in a greater detail.
Vomiting, as you are aware of, is one of the reflexes of the body which causes stomach contents to empty out through the mouth. This reflex may be voluntary or non-voluntary. Due to the association of several conditions with the condition, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. Often vomiting is preceded by what is known as nausea, but not all nauseas result in vomiting. In most cases, vomiting is not related to any severe medical conditions. However, there are some conditions wherein, vomiting might signal a more serious problem, especially when it is uncontrollable.
What Triggers or Causes Uncontrollable Vomiting?
In most cases, doctors have found that conditions such as severe stomach flu (not related to influenza), motion sickness, migraines, cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, anesthesia, and infection caused by the rotavirus are some common causes. It might also be one of the side effects of certain medications. Uncontrollable vomiting during pregnancy is also known as hyperemesis gravidarum. It is a severe form of what is known as morning sickness. It can be so severe that it can restrict the intake of food and fluids. It is however, a rare complication in pregnancy.
Besides these causes there are some more which may make the condition worse. These are mainly underlying medical conditions that the affected person may already be suffering from or have been affected by, lately. They may include:
- Disease of the gallbladder
- Food poisoning
- Intense allergic reaction to smells or odors
- Injury to the brain like concussion, etc.
- Brain tumor
- Formation of stomach ulcers
- Certain cancers such as that of the pancreas and liver
- Psychological eating disorder like bulimia nervosa
- Heart attack may be a cause
- Crohn’s disease
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome (an idiopathic condition that may cause frequent episodes of vomiting, which can last up to many days)
- Major depression
- Severe dehydration
- Dizzy spells
- Anxiety disorder
- Middle ear infection
- Overactive thyroid gland
- Kidney failure
- Strep throat
The causes that have been mentioned here may differ according to the age. Also the timing of occurrence of vomiting matters in determining the cause. For instance, constant vomiting after drinking or eating could signal, bulimia, ulcer, etc. On the other hand, if it occurs after about, let’s say 8 – 9 hours, then one possible cause may be food poisoning. People must know about when to get medical help.
Medical intervention may be necessary if the vomiting is followed post an injury, lasts for more than 24 hours and is accompanied by diarrhea, dehydration, presence of blood in the vomit, severe headache, stiff neck, pain in the abdominal area or any other abnormal symptoms. For children under 6 years, parents must not wait until the vomiting lasts more than a day, or is accompanied by fever, to consult a doctor. Rapid pulse is also a sign to worry about, if it accompanies severe vomiting.
Eating smaller meals a day, eating slowly and easy-to-digest foods help in reducing instances of uncontrollable vomiting. If someone is sensitive to smell of warm or hot foods, then it is better to have the food cold or when it is at room temperature. It is important to rest after eating; never lie down. Drinking plenty of water also helps in preventing the condition. Avoid drinking water during meals. When feeling nauseas, it is best to avoid eating anything. Drinking soda or fruit juices may suppress the urge to vomit, and so may sitting in an inactive position. But these methods may provide temporary relief. So it is important to get medical help if the condition worsens.