Nausea, vomiting: causes and help

Nausea and vomiting are often caused by diseases of the abdominal organs, metabolism and the brain. More about causes and therapy

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How does vomiting occur in the first place?

• Stomach [10101] spoiled, queasy feeling in the stomach ... Nausea often announces that someone has to vomit. The mishap is intended as a protective reflex: the body tries to help itself by getting rid of harmful things.

• The decision when to start - and before that often the indomitable feeling of nausea - takes place in the brain. More precisely: in the vomiting center in the brain stem. It receives the breaking signals and coordinates the "breaking act".

• Corresponding signals often arrive from the digestive tract. Examples: increased pressure in the stomach or intestines, irritation from alcohol or inflammation. Other parts of the body, the sense of balance, different homonic systems, and finally the brain itself, can also raise the vomiting alarm.

• There is also a "hot line" between the vomiting center and places of consciousness (example: severe pain) and the unconscious, the mind and the feelings in the brain. Vomiting as an undesirable effect of drugs is often relevant, but not always known.

Tips against travel sickness (kinetosis)

On the way, but motion sick? When it comes to motion sickness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and often circulatory disorders, are regular companions. The complaints are based on a data conflict between the organ of equilibrium and signals from the eyes.

A case in point is seasickness. Like vertigo or carousel vertigo, kinetoses belong to the physiological forms of vertigo. So they are not really morbid.

For prevention / treatment: Medicines with dimenhydrinate (only available in a pharmacy, contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine, which, however, also has a calming or drowsy effect) and scopolamine as a skin patch for stubborn cases (prescription only).

Let the doctor advise you on the correct and timely application. Pharmacies also provide information on this. For example, dimenhydrinate is dosed lower in chewing gum dragees against travel sickness than in tablets. However, it can affect your ability to drive.

Many drivers get by with the use of normal chewing gum quite well. Chewing keeps you awake and seems to distract the body from a possible nausea response. Take breaks with fresh air, some exercise and only light snacks on the go. For ginger see next section. Alcohol-free driving - that goes without saying.

For a bus trip, book seats at the very front in good time, on the plane in the row of seats above the wings. When the sea is rough, stay in the center of the ship as much as possible.

Before you travel, find out about the type of transport on intermediate stages and arrive on time so that you can still choose a place that suits you.

Nausea, vomiting: therapy

The treatment of vomiting (technical term: vomiting) and nausea (nausea) depends as far as possible on the cause. In acute cases, an antidote, an antiemetic, is often useful as symptomatic therapy. The situation often improves on its own, for example after throwing up because of a striking stomach.

If vomiting is severe and persistent, call a doctor or an emergency doctor (emergency number: 112). Some information and tips in advance.

Sometimes a change in diet is enough: light food, small meals spread over the day, avoiding luxury foods or taking a temporary break from eating.

Harmless nausea, for example when traveling: Preparations made from ginger root or homeopathic remedies can help. Pay attention to the warning notices, for example regarding a blood thinning therapy.

Antiemetics (anti-emetic agents): They fight nausea and nausea. They are different drugs. Prokinetics such as metoclopramide and domperidone mainly activate the mobility of the stomach and duodenum, but can also influence the central nervous system. Among other things, they are used against nausea in pain therapy with opioids - morphine-like substances.

An intestinal obstruction is one of the contraindications here. Dimenhydrinate (see above: Travel sickness) is a so-called antihstamine. Modern antiemetics are the so-called setrons, also 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. They belong to the group of serotonin antagonists. Antagonists are opponents or blockers.

In the case of strong nausea, an emetic usually only works as a suppository, syringe or infusion. In certain cases, such as chemotherapy, doctors also use cortisone.

Occasionally, special medical measures and interventions on an outpatient basis or in a clinic or emergency treatment are required.

Severe vomiting also makes it necessary to replace lost fluids and salts, which the doctor will insist on at an early stage, especially in children and the elderly.

Because it is important to avoid the faster onset of dehydration.

Signs this is a dry mouth, little or no urine, weakness or apathy.

Sometimes fluid replacement is only possible through the bloodstream. For patients with less pronounced fluid loss, there are, for example, drinking solutions with sugar and electrolytes. Under certain circumstances, an implanted artificial gastric pacemaker can drive a paralyzed stomach.

Circumstances accompanying vomiting

The time and type of vomiting can provide further clues to possible causes. Sometimes there are emergencies or very urgent treatment indications. Here are some examples:
• In the morning: For example, during pregnancy, with excessive alcohol consumption or kidney failure (uremia).
• While eating or shortly after: Sometimes psychological reasons (anorexia, bulimia), narrowing of the esophagus, consequence of an acute stomach or gastrointestinal inflammation (vomiting, diarrhea with infectious gastroenteritis), food allergy, influence of medication, pregnancy.
• One to several hours after ingestion: gastric ulcer; Gastric emptying disorder, for example due to narrowing of the stomach outlet (benign or malignant) or with a flaccid or paralyzed stomach (motility disorder, gastric atony, for example as a result of diabetes).
• In a surge, even without nausea: Possible with acute brain diseases or injuries (head injuries and other disorders of the central nervous system; intracranial pressure), then with narrowing of the stomach outlet and with migraines.
• Reflux of undigested food: For example, in the case of a bulging (diverticulum) or narrowing of the esophagus, then due to the lack of relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter when swallowing or during the passage through the food (generic term: achalasia).
• Backflow of acidic stomach contents, possibly also vomiting: Can occur with inability to close the lower esophageal sphincter (reflux disease) or narrowing of the gastric outlet, also as a mechanical problem in late pregnancy.
• Fecal odor due to bacterial decomposition of the vomit: when the small or large intestine is occluded (ileus, at least deeper intestinal sections), peritonitis (both emergencies); A connecting duct (fistula) between the stomach and intestines (urgent treatment indication) can also be the cause.
• Blood (hematemesis, emergency: blood loss can be life-threatening!): Acute, mostly heavy bleeding from the upper digestive tract, i.e. from the esophagus to the upper duodenum: for example with varicose veins of the esophagus, with a diaphragmatic hernia, see further below below) or certain diseases of the esophagus; with an ulcer, very vulnerable mucous membrane with gastritis, with a polyp, other tumors or vascular malformations of the stomach and duodenum; for blood clotting disorders or therapeutic blood thinning. Respiratory diseases are very rarely behind this.
Vomiting of gastric contents similar to coffee grounds (emergency, see Hematemesis): If blood from the upper digestive tract has come into contact with gastric juice, it takes on a dark brown to black discoloration and coagulates; it can also be mixed with food. Severe gastrointestinal bleeding is usually associated with tarry stools, i.e. stools that are black in color. The vomit can also be bloody.
• Bilious vomiting, constant and in large quantities: When occluded below the mouth of the bile and pancreatic ducts in the duodenum.
• Severe pain (often emergency): Can trigger nausea, muscle tension and anxiety, as a result of which the pulse and blood pressure often rise.