Although there is one end point to vomiting which 'emptying your stomach contents out through your mouth' - there are many different starting points and may be quite a lot leading up to the vomiting including feeling sick (nauseated). Causes of vomiting include:-
- Eating something which your body rejects because it is poisonous in some way, like bad or infected food.
- Seeing or smelling something disgusting, like other people throwing up or very dirty toilets.
- As part of another illness like having "flu", or meningitis.
- A bad bang on the head/concussion.
- As part of diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Having too much alcohol.
- As part of bulimia when people make themselves vomit by sticking their fingers down their throat (not a good idea!).
What to do if you start throwing up
This depends on what is causing it the first place:
- If you have a bad headache or fever with it - get to see a doctor quickly because of worries about meningitis.
- For all causes of vomiting - STOP eating, have small sips of water frequently, or other non milk, non alcoholic drinks - water, flat coke, or fruit juices are best - this is very importnant, as you don't want to get dehydrated.
- Vomiting usually settles down by itself, but you must get help if it carries on.
If you think you may have bulimia, or a problem with alcohol, please have a look at our pages on these subjects.