Every so often people confuse nausea and vomiting with each other. However, there is a significant difference between the two. Nausea is the uneasiness of the stomach which usually precedes vomiting. The forceful ejection of the contents of the stomach through the mouth, and sometimes through the nose, is called vomiting, or throwing up. Medically, it is called emesis. Nausea and vomiting is caused by a wide variety of diseases, ranging from mild to severe. In severe cases, intravenous fluid may be required.
Causes of Nausea and Vomiting
On their own, nausea and vomiting are not diseases. However, they serve as symptoms for many underlying conditions, which are some of the following:
- Gastroenteritis: infection of stomach and large intestine
- Food poisoning
- Ingestion of poison
- Specific allergies
- Indigestion of toxins
- Gallbladder disease
- Morning sickness during pregnancy, especially in the early stages
- Certain medications
- Motion sickness or seasickness
- Emotional stress
- Hypersensitivity to particular odors
- Alcohol abuse
Nausea and vomiting usually result from irritation of the digestive system. Usually, the timing of onset of nausea or vomiting can identify the cause. If it commences after a meal, it is highly as a result of food poisoning, gastritis, ulcer or bulimia. Vomiting due to food poisoning may also occur several hours after eating meal.
Treatment for Nausea and Vomiting
There is usually no need for medical assistance when treating nausea and vomiting. However, if the vomiting has been present for more than 24 hours or signs of dehydration begin to emerge, it may be time to seek medical care. Otherwise, first aid can be used to treat nausea and vomiting. The following are to be used as hints and cannot serve as an alternative for first aid training where practical knowledge is taught and hands on training is performed.
- Calm the person and let him/ her vomit.
- Wipe the face of the person using a clean, slightly wet cloth.
- After vomiting, make the person drink small amounts of water, fruit juices, or sports drinks but frequently to avoid dehydration and correct fluid electrolyte imbalance.
- Avoid giving anything with caffeine or alcohol. In addition, do not give milk or any dairy product.
- Give the person light, bland food like crackers and bread. Avoid giving heavy, solid food until vomiting has ceased, especially fatty and spicy food.
- When the vomiting is relieved, give a BRAT diet after 24 hours. BRAT diet consists of banana, rice, apple sauce minus sugar and toast. Pasta and potatoes may also be given.
- If vomiting is due to pregnancy, seek medical advice.
Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting
Some of the cases of vomiting are inevitable. However, some can also be prevented. Mentioned below are some of the ways, which include
- Eat slowly and small frequent meals throughout the day.
- Rest after eating.
- Drink liquids often, even between meals.
- In motion sickness, seat the person facing the windshield and avoid doing other activities.
- Avoid eating and playing at the same time to prevent the stomach from feeling nauseated and prevent vomiting.