Let's understand the mechanism of vomiting

I hope you are having a great day, we have the opportunity again to socialize knowledge and opinions, this is a good thing, it is part of what this great community allows us.

On this occasion I would like to share information regarding a clinical entity that may well be a symptom as well as the cause of other more complicated entities, I am referring specifically to vomiting, that which in some way we have all experienced and we know well how unpleasant it can be. This has its particular characteristics, its consequences in the organism if it becomes constant.

Surely you have experienced in first person this situation or probably you have seen someone who lives it, therefore I invite you to continue reading that what I want to tell you will surely interest you.


Pixabay/ Author: dehaasbe

Let us begin, as always, by defining:.

Essentially, vomiting is the act or action of expelling the contents of the stomach through the mouth. That's basically it, and obviously it's something that shouldn't happen.

It can be caused by a variety of factors, which I will describe in more detail later, but among these can be: illness, medications, pregnancy, infections, food or toxic substances, or psychological problems.

Keep in mind that vomiting can be a symptom of an underlying condition or a condition in itself.


The causes of vomiting are manifold, but the most common are:

  • Diseases of the stomach or intestines: such as inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), ulcers, appendicitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Viral or bacterial infections: such as influenza or food poisoning.

  • Nervous system disorders: such as dizziness, nausea, vertigo, or motion sickness. This can be common when people travel and experience motion sickness, which in turn induces vomiting.

  • Medications: such as those used to treat high blood pressure, certain antibiotics, or chemotherapy particularly often cause vomiting.

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs, as this directly affects the central nervous system.

  • Pregnancy: it is well known that nausea and vomiting are common during the first trimester.

  • Psychological problems: such as anxiety disorder or bulimia.

Also, in some cases, vomiting may be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as a brain injury or metabolic disorder. This is a very complex sign and requires immediate attention, for example, when a person suffers a head injury.



Pixabay/ Author: un-perfekt

Now knowing that there can be multiple causes, let us understand what is the pathophysiological mechanism by which it is generated: This involves the interaction of several body systems, including the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system and the digestive system.

This involves the interaction of several body systems, including the *central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system and the digestive system.

  • The central nervous system plays an important role in the control of vomiting. The medulla oblongata, brain and brain stem have sensory receptors that receive information about digestion and the state of the body, and also contain vomiting control centers. Stimuli that can trigger vomiting include infections, inflammation, brain injury, metabolic disorders, and exposure to certain medications or toxic substances. These stimuli are transmitted via cranial and spinal nerves to the vomiting control center in the medulla oblongata and brain.

  • The peripheral nervous system also plays a role in the pathophysiological mechanism of vomiting. Parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves that control digestion and movement of the stomach and intestines may also contribute to vomiting.

  • Once the vomiting control center is activated, chemicals are released in the stomach and small intestine, causing violent muscle contractions of the stomach and intestine. These contractions force the contents of the stomach and intestine up and out through the mouth.


This is how vomiting is generated, and a retrograde flow of whatever we have consumed is produced. I think we have all felt this sensation that it generates, and that can remain for a long time, which is burning in the esophagus, and it is normal, due to the large amount of acid coming from the stomach that vomit has.

But we must keep in mind that it is not only food that we eliminate by vomiting, but also electrolytes and important chemicals, and if these are expelled in large quantities they can produce other metabolic disorders.



Pixabay/ Author: silviarita

This is how we can deduce that the effects of vomiting on the body can vary from slight to severe, depending on the cause and frequency of vomiting. Some of the most common effects are:

  • Dehydration: vomiting can cause loss of fluids and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration and fatigue.
  • Abdominal pain: the effort of vomiting can cause abdominal pain and stomach discomfort.
  • Loss of appetite: vomiting can make it difficult to eat or drink, which can lead to weight loss.
    Changes in stool: vomiting may affect bowel transit and cause changes in stool, such as diarrhea or constipation.
  • Changes in mental state: vomiting can cause dizziness, nausea, and changes in mental state, such as confusion or drowsiness.

The above we can say that these are in mild cases, but if we refer to more severe cases, recurrent vomiting can cause:

  • Electrolyte imbalance: Recurrent vomiting can cause imbalances in the body's electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which can cause heart problems and other serious problems.
  • Esophageal damage: Recurrent vomiting can cause irritation and damage to the esophagus, which can lead to difficulty swallowing or bleeding.
  • Malnutrition: Recurrent vomiting can cause a loss of nutrients and protein, which can lead to malnutrition and weakness.
  • Shock: In extremely severe cases, vomiting can cause shock, which is a life-threatening condition characterized by very low blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and reduced blood flow to the body.

It is logical that if a person is in the second scale the attention should be at hospital level, because we could be in front of a person in which even his life is in danger.



Pixabay/ Author: sydneyra

As you can realize, this has many nuances, that if we refer to a single event of vomiting, it would not cause great damage, despite how uncomfortable it can be, but if it is prolonged in time, the decompensation in the person can be very fast and even put his life in danger.

The treatment will always vary depending on the magnitude of the symptoms that occur, however, we must always be alert, because we must also consider that vomiting is not the same in a person who is previously dehydrated or malnourished, or that is combined with a diarrheal condition than in a person who is in good health.


I hope this post has helped me to have a better notion of this entity that we have all met in some way. I would like to know if you have anything to say about it, if so, you can leave it in the comments so that we can all support each other.


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