What Causes Sudden Vomiting?

Sudden vomiting, also known as projectile vomiting wake forest north carolina, happens when vomit forcefully - and quite suddenly - exits from the the body (via the mouth). Vomit traveling a few feet from the body is not uncommon when the onset is sudden.

The causes of sudden vomiting can be different for infants or children and adults. Treatments also vary, depending on the underlying cause. Sudden vomiting is often indicative of the body needing to expel something that is harmful, such as bacteria or toxins.

Projectile, or sudden vomiting, is different from what is termed “regular” vomiting in a few ways. Sudden vomiting is more severe, more forceful, travels further, and it happens without experiencing nausea as a warning.

But symptoms that can accompany sudden vomiting include lack of hunger, all over body aches, and headaches. Studies have shows that vomit droplets like those in sudden vomiting can travel long distances. The result is that the illnesses associated with projective vomiting can sometimes be highly contagious .

Sudden Vomiting in Infants

Pyloric Stenosis is the condition most likely to cause projectile or sudden vomiting in infants. Affecting the tube that connects the stomach to the small bowel in a young body, this condition makes it hard for the infant or child to receive the proper amount of nutrition and fluids needed. Dehydration can happen and happen quickly with this condition so immediate medical care is very important.

Symptoms of this condition start with “regular” vomiting of milk after a feeding. Over several days the vomiting worsens and becomes projectile vomiting. In addition an infant with this condition does not have normal bowel movements or urination because food is not being digested properly. Dehydration is common and can cause sleepiness and lethargy. Doctors are often able to diagnose by a lump in the belly of the infant. An ultrasound scan may be advised.

Surgery is the most common treatment for pyloric stenosis. It is considered low-risk.

Sudden Vomiting in Adults

It is rare for an adult to have pyloric stenosis. Sudden (projectile) vomiting is much more likely to be associated with food poisoning, illness, or the presence of toxins in the body. While vomit that is projected in sudden vomiting is not unlike regular vomiting in its texture and/or appearance, it will occur without any warning and exits the body with a lot of force. For adults the underlying cause of regular and sudden vomiting are often similar or the same, but often sudden vomiting can indicated that the illness or condition is more advanced or severe. The main causes of sudden vomiting are food poisoning, gastroenteritis, infectious diarrhea and vomiting, and toxins.

  • Food poisoning can occur when food has not been safely prepared and/or has somehow become infected by outside germs. Some viruses can contaminate food, as can some bacterias (i.e. salmonella).
  • Gastroenteritis is caused by a virus (i.e. norovirus) or salmonella.
  • Infectious diarrhea and vomiting are caused by infection.
  • Toxins that can cause sudden vomiting include morphine, alcohol, and chemotherapy drugs.

Treatments for Sudden Vomiting

There are no known treatments for food poisoning or gastroenteritis. Recommendations for recovery at home include rest and hydration, taking over-the counter anti-vomiting and anti-diarrhea medicines, eating only small meals or snacks consisting of bland foods, using electrolyte beverages if necessary for rehydration, and using over-the-counter pain medicine for any fevers or body aches.

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