Vomiting can be a daunting and uncomfortable experience, leaving you feeling drained and helpless. But you don’t need to suffer in silence; there are simple steps you can take to treat vomiting at home. In this article, you will learn how to control your symptoms and recover quickly.
Quick facts: Treating Vomiting At Home
- ✅ To treat vomiting at home, it is important to drink plenty of fluids such as water, clear broth, ginger ale, or sports drinks to prevent dehydration. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
- ✅ The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) can help reduce nausea and vomiting. (Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
- ✅ Peppermint and ginger can help reduce nausea and vomiting. (Source: Harvard Health)
- ✅ Avoid dairy, fried or fatty foods, spicy foods, and strong-smelling foods until you feel better. (Source: Cleveland Clinic)
- ✅ Slow sips of clear, salty liquids such as broth, sports drinks, and electrolyte solutions can help replace lost electrolytes. (Source: WebMD)
Causes of Vomiting
Vomiting is an involuntary response to various triggers, including but not limited to illnesses, infections, medication or food allergies. Common reasons why a person may vomit include food poisoning, the flu, and motion sickness. Other causes may include gastroenteritis, intestinal blockage, excessive alcohol consumption and pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at the possible causes of vomiting:
- Food poisoning
- The flu
- Motion sickness
- Intestinal blockage
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Food poisoning, sometimes referred to as food-borne illness, is one of the most common causes of vomiting. This type of illness occurs when food is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or toxins that can cause severe nausea and vomiting.
Some of the most common causes of food poisoning include:
- Eating undercooked meat or poultry
- Eating seafood that wasn’t adequately refrigerated
- Consuming dairy products past their expiration date
- Eating foods that were stored at unsafe temperatures such as cold salads or sandwiches.
Signs and symptoms usually appear 8-48 hours after ingestion and can include abdominal cramps and pain, watery diarrhea, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Depending on the contaminant present in the food, dehydration may also occur due to frequent vomiting and diarrhea.
Viral infections are one of the most common causes of vomiting, particularly in young children. Viruses such as norovirus, rotavirus and the common cold can all cause vomiting. Usually, other symptoms accompany the vomiting such as fever, headaches or a runny nose. Vomiting caused by a virus will typically go away on its own within a few days and not require any medical attention.
When treating at home for viral-induced vomiting, it is important to ensure that adequate hydration is maintained – electrolyte drinks or diluted juice can help replace lost fluids and electrolytes. If there is an accompanying fever present, it can be treated using ibuprofen or acetaminophen (under adult supervision) but should not be overused as they may upset the stomach further.
Strict rest and small frequent meals are also recommended during recovery from a viral infection-induced stomach bug:
- Ensure adequate hydration with electrolyte drinks or diluted juice.
- Treat fever with ibuprofen or acetaminophen (under adult supervision).
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat small, frequent meals.
Motion sickness is a condition caused by disturbances in the balance system of the inner ear and can be triggered by motion such as on a boat, car, bus, or plane ride. It can also be caused by watching a 3D movie or playing a virtual reality game. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, sweating and vomiting.
The best way to prevent motion sickness is to be aware of how your body reacts to movement before you go on any ride or activity that may cause it. If you do find yourself experiencing the symptoms of motion sickness while traveling it is important to take action quickly in order to reduce discomfort and prevent vomiting. This could include:
- Avoiding spicy foods before travel.
- Sitting where you can see out the window during travel.
- Taking frequent breaks when possible while in transit.
- Keeping your head still during travel.
Allergies can be one of the causes of vomiting. A person who has an allergy to certain foods or other allergens may experience nausea and vomiting as a result. The allergen can trigger an allergic reaction, which can lead to increased gastric acid production, resulting in vomiting.
Allergic reactions to medications, insect stings, latex and certain chemicals can also trigger vomiting. Depending on the type and strength of the allergen and how long it has been in contact with your body, you may experience other symptoms like itching, hives, facial swelling or difficulty breathing. In this case it is important to seek medical attention right away.
Symptoms of Vomiting
Vomiting is a common symptom that can have many different causes. It can range from mild to severe and may be caused by food poisoning, a virus, or another medical condition. Common signs and symptoms of vomiting include:
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty swallowing
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of vomiting.
Nausea is a symptom of vomiting that people often experience before they start actually vomiting. It is characterized by a feeling of unease in the stomach and can be accompanied by sweating, dizziness, or increased saliva production.
Nausea occurs when certain parts of the brain (hypothalamus and brainstem) are triggered and release hormones to activate the digestive system.
Treating nausea at home typically involves:
- Drinking lots of fluids
- Eating bland foods (such as toast)
- Avoiding strong odors that could be triggering nausea
- Avoiding large meals or eating slowly
- Taking over-the-counter medications such as Dramamine or Pepto-Bismol
Abdominal pain can be one of the first signs of vomiting. Commonly, this type of pain is felt around the navel or in the lower abdomen. It may be cramping, aching, tightness, stiffness or simply discomfort. Other signs of abdominal pain can include:
- Swollen stomach
- Inability to eat as much as normal prior to vomiting.
It is important for people to note that abdominal pain does not always indicate vomiting; however, it may indicate an underlying condition that should be discussed with a doctor.
Diarrhea is one of the symptoms of vomiting, along with nausea and abdominal pain. It occurs when the contents of the intestine are emptied into the rectum at a higher rate than normal. Diarrhea can also be caused by infectious agents like viruses and bacteria, as well as other environmental factors. While diarrhea itself doesn’t usually cause vomiting, it can contribute to dehydration, which can lead to vomiting if left untreated.
When diagnosing and treating vomiting at home, it’s important to pay attention for signs of additional symptoms such as diarrhea in order to help manage the situation better. Treatment for diarrhea may include:
- Replacing fluids and electrolytes through drinking plenty of water or consuming electrolyte-rich fluids like juices or sports drinks;
- Avoiding certain foods; and
- Taking prescribed medication such as antibiotics or antidiarrheal drugs.
Fever is one of the most common symptoms of vomiting. If a person has a fever, this can be an indication that they have a virus or infection which is causing them to vomit. Fever typically occurs along with body aches and other physical changes associated with illness.
It is important to note that some people may be allergic to certain medications or foods, which can also cause vomiting and fever. In these cases, identifying the trigger and avoiding it is the best way to prevent further episodes of vomiting and fever.
For mild cases of vomiting, home remedies can be very successful in helping to soothe symptoms and provide relief. Home remedies like drinking water and other fluids, sipping on ginger tea, or sticking to a bland diet, can be used to manage vomiting naturally and with minimal effort.
Let’s look at some of the other home remedies for treating vomiting:
Increasing fluids is important when treating vomiting at home, as it helps to keep you hydrated and replenish lost electrolytes. It is important to avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol as these can irritate your stomach and worsen the vomiting sensation. Instead, opt for a drink that has electrolytes such as coconut water or sports drinks. If that isn’t available, try drinking water, clear broth, or diluted juices (particularly if they contain citrus fruits). Don’t drink too much too quickly though; drinking in small sips throughout the day will help best.
Avoid solid foods
When treating vomiting caused by a stomach bug, it is important to avoid solid foods until the vomiting has ceased. Eating solid foods when vomiting can increase nausea, cause dehydration, and introduce more bacteria into the body.
If you are feeling hungry at this time, try to eat only liquids such as broth and clear juices. These foods help to keep your body hydrated and provide essential nutrients without overwhelming your system.
If you feel too nauseous to even consume liquids, wait until these symptoms subside before trying food again.
Ginger is a versatile root that can be used to treat different ailments, including vomiting. It helps reduce nausea and prevent vomiting by stimulating the digestive muscles in the stomach.
To use ginger as a natural remedy for vomiting, mix 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root with 1 cup of warm water and drink it at least two to three times daily. You can also add some honey for taste. Another option is to boil 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes and drink this tea throughout the day.
Ginger is relatively safe when taken in moderation, but avoid consuming it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have gallbladder issues or take blood-thinning medications.
Take anti-nausea medication
When dealing with vomiting, one of the first home remedies to consider is taking an anti-nausea medication. These medications can be purchased over-the-counter in many countries and are generally easy to take. It’s important to remember that these medications should not be used in children under the age of 12 without prior consultation with a doctor. In addition, these medications may interact with other drugs so it is best to check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking them.
When using anti-nausea medications, it is important to remember that they work best when taken as soon as possible after feeling nauseous. Taking them regularly can also help prevent vomiting from occurring in the future.
Signs that these medications may not be working and medical attention is needed include:
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain accompanied by vomiting
- High fever
- Signs of dehydration.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you or a loved one is vomiting, it is important to assess when to seek medical care. Vomiting can be caused by a number of conditions that require medical attention. In some cases, you can treat the vomiting at home by taking certain steps and using home remedies. However, in certain circumstances, seeking medical attention is essential.
Let’s look at when to seek medical care for vomiting:
Vomiting for more than 24 hours
If an adult has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. Vomiting for a prolonged period of time can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies.
If a person is unable to keep any liquid down or if they have other symptoms such as high fever, severe abdominal pain, or blood in their vomit, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Additionally, if an adult has had more than three episodes of vomiting in the last 24 hours or if there is evidence of pain associated with eating or drinking, it is best to seek medical advice and not attempt home remedies.
Blood in the vomit
If you or a loved one is vomiting and there is blood present in the vomit, it is important to seek medical treatment right away. This could indicate a more serious issue and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Vomiting blood can be caused by a wide range of problems, from gastritis and ulcers to cancers or kidney failure. It is also possible for trauma to occur in the digestive tract which may cause bleeding in the vomit. Other possible causes include taking certain medicines, infections and even pregnancy.
If vomiting blood is severe or accompanied by other symptoms like fever, abdominal pain or mental confusion, contact a doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital for evaluation and treatment. It’s important to remember that any kind of diarrhoea accompanied with vomiting should also be seen by a professional as soon as possible due to potential dehydration risk.
Severe abdominal pain
If you’re experiencing severe abdominal pain that is accompanied by nausea, vomiting and fever, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Severe pain can be an indication of a serious underlying condition such as appendicitis or food poisoning.
Additional signs that may accompany severe abdominal pain include dehydration, vomiting blood, passing black or tarry stools and diarrhea. If any of these symptoms is present, contact your doctor immediately or head to the nearest emergency room.
Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and order tests such as blood work and imaging studies to diagnose the source of the discomfort. Treatment depends on the severity of your condition, but may include over-the-counter medications such as anti-nauseants, antibiotics or IV fluids to rehydrate you if needed.
High fever is an indication that you may be dealing with a potentially serious issue, and medical advice should be sought if the temperature climbs higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius.
If your child also has a high fever and is showing any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek medical care immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- inability to drink fluids due to excessive vomiting
- altered mental status (lethargy or confusion)
- rash or spots on the skin
- neck stiffness or headaches that won’t go away
It’s also important to contact a doctor if you think your baby has swallowed something poisonous.
Although high fever can generally be treated with over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, in some cases antibiotics may be required. If any of these symptoms occur alongside the high fever it’s important to take your child to see a doctor right away.
Prevention is always the best way to stop an episode of vomiting. Prior to vomiting, there are usually signs that can be recognized such as dizziness, sweating, and nausea. If you recognize these signs early enough, you may be able to take measures to prevent vomiting.
Some of these measures include:
- Drinking clear fluids such as water or ginger ale.
- Lying down in a cool and quiet place.
- Avoiding certain foods or activities.
Wash hands frequently
Vomiting can spread germs and make you ill, so it’s important to take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. One of the most important ways to do this is to wash your hands often.
- Make sure you wash your hands with soap after using the toilet, before and after preparing food, and before eating.
- You should also keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will help prevent dehydration caused by excessive vomiting.
If you are caring for someone with vomiting, make sure that you wear gloves if you need to touch their vomit or other fluids from their body, as well as wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. It’s also a good idea to have a dedicated trashcan or wastebasket in the room where they are vomiting in order to avoid cross-contamination of other areas of your home. By taking these simple precautions, you can help protect yourself and others from illnesses associated with vomiting.
Avoid contaminated food and water
Avoiding contaminated food and water is an important step for preventing vomiting. Food can become contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or other parasites that can cause vomiting. Contaminated water, particularly from wells that are not properly treated, can contain bacteria and viruses, which can lead to waterborne illnesses that cause vomiting. Therefore, it’s important to only take food from reputable sources and to ensure any tap or well water is properly treated with a reliable filter before drinking it.
Additionally, food should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer according to guidelines recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Taking precautions like these will reduce your risk of becoming ill with a foodborne illness.
Avoid foods that may trigger an allergic reaction
Preventing and treating vomiting begins with knowing what foods may trigger an allergic reaction in some people. When someone experiences food allergies, their body has an immune system reaction after eating a certain food. Allergic reactions may include rash, sneezing, itching, coughing, nausea and vomiting.
Some foods that are more likely to trigger a food allergy response include:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
It’s also important to note that some people develop an intolerance for certain foods as well. Foods that may cause mild digestive problems or discomfort in some people—but not full-blown allergic reactions—include dairy products (such as cheese), garlic, onions and spicy dishes.
If you suspect that a particular food is causing your vomiting episodes, it’s best to avoid eating those foods until the symptoms subside completely.
Get adequate rest
The best way to start treating vomiting at home is to get adequate rest. Vomiting is a symptom of many illnesses, and the body needs time to heal when fighting off these illnesses. Resting does not only give the body time to physically heal, but it can also reduce stress and put the mind in a more relaxed state.
Sleep triggers the release of hormones important for regulating metabolism and immunity, so getting enough rest is key in helping the body fight off any underlying infections or illnesses that may be causing vomiting as a symptom. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that while getting rest you are eating balanced meals and staying hydrated with plenty of fluids.
FAQs about: Treating Vomiting At Home
Q: What can I do to treat vomiting at home?
A: You can treat vomiting at home by staying hydrated, letting your stomach settle, eating small meals, and avoiding triggers.
Q: How can I stay hydrated when I’m vomiting?
A: You can stay hydrated by drinking small amounts of clear liquids, such as water, sports drinks, clear broths, and ginger ale. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks.
Q: What foods should I avoid when I’m vomiting?
A: You should avoid greasy, spicy, and sugary foods. Instead, opt for bland, light foods such as crackers and toast.