why do we puke when we are sick
By Dr. Mercola
Vomiting is a natural reflex that often occurs as a form of protection. In the event you consume something that is contaminated or poisonous, vomiting is your body's way of getting rid of it. You may first experience nausea, which is the unpleasant feeling of being about to vomit. Vomiting refers to the typically involuntary emptying of your stomach contents through your mouth. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases but rather are symptoms of an underlying health condition. Often, a virus, such as norovirus, is to blame, but vomiting may also be due to bacteria, parasites and food poisoning. Other conditions, including motion sickness, pregnancy, reflux and even stress, can also cause vomiting. At the foundational level, the vomiting reflex is controlled by your brain's vomiting center, the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ), also called the area postrema. The CTZ is outside the blood-brain barrier, which means substances in your bloodstream have direct access.
This is why certain medications can trigger or stop vomiting. Various areas of your body can stimulate the CTZ and cause vomiting. This includes: The vomiting process involves more than simply "throwing up. " It typically consists of three phases, as reported in The Clinical Journal: What Are the Top Causes of Vomiting? In most cases, vomiting is caused by underlying conditions that will clear up on their own within a couple of days. Although it can be incredibly uncomfortable, such vomiting is not serious (as long as you don't become dehydrated). Top causes include: Gastroenteritis (also known as stomach flu) Food Poisoning Motion Sickness Ear Infections Pregnancy Acid Reflux Stress As mentioned, in most cases vomiting is the result of a stomach bug that will get better on its own in a couple of days. It may also be due to another self-limiting factor, like a long car ride or an upcoming exam that has you extremely stressed.
That being said, the following signs and symptoms warrant medical attention above-and-beyond typical vomiting: Most people will be infected with a vomit-inducing virus such as norovirus at some point during their lives. If this happens, make sure the vomiting (and diarrhea) does not cause you to become dehydrated, as dehydration can be life threatening. If you begin to become dehydrated, it is vital that you go to an emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Initially, however, if you have thrown up put your stomach at complete rest for at least three hours. Avoid water, crackers and soda в everything for the first three hours. Once three hours have passed and no further vomiting has occurred then try sipping small amounts of water slowly. If that is tolerated and you have not vomited further, you can gradually increase the water. Do this for one to two hours and if that is tolerated then you are ready for the final phase в large doses of a high-quality probiotic, taken every 30 to 60 minutes until your symptoms go away.
One of the best natural remedies for nausea (and motion sickness) is. At the first hint of nausea, consuming ginger may help the feeling go away, possibly even helping to prevent vomiting. To make ginger tea, slice off a small amount of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water for 30 seconds to several minutes. Ginger is very potent, so taste it at regular intervals of about 30 seconds в it can get very strong fast. Alternatively, for a quicker solution, just take one-half teaspoon of finely diced and swallow it. Personally, this has worked for me every time I have had the need for it. Puke, vomit, barf, chunderchunks. Whatever you call it, most of us have done it. It's pretty disgusting, but usually it's helpful. Often, we need to be sick to get rid of something harmful in our stomach.
What is sick? Sick is half-digested food mixed with spit, slimy stomach mucus and other stomach juices. Mmm! Why are we sick? Normally you are sick if you have a virus or bacteria in your stomach or intestines. Your body wants to get rid of them the fastest way it knows how - puking! Sometimes people are sick if they are nervous, travelling or go on a fast ride in a theme park. Did you know? When you vomit, your body produces more saliva. This helps to protect your teeth from stomach acid. How are we sick? Your brain sends a message to your diaphragm, stomach muscles and intestine muscles saying "get rid of that food! " The muscles in your stomach and intestines push food towards your mouth instead of down towards your intestines. The bad smell is due to stomach acids and a chemical called bile. Bile helps to digest fatty foods. When you puke, bile can come up along with the half-digested food. It smells pretty bad!
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