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Vomiting is never fun, but is usually necessary because your body is trying to get rid of a toxin. Depending on your reason for vomiting you may want to seek medical attention or you may just want to let your body cleanse itself through purging.

The most common reasons due to vomiting are stomach flu, food poising, non-food poisoning, and pregnancy. (However, these are not the ONLY reasons for vomiting. If you’re continuously vomiting for no apparent reason see your doctor as soon as possible.)

Stomach Flu

Unfortunately, stomach flu is viral and therefore has to run its course. Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of the stomach flu, so if you experience either you should try to consume liquids (water, broth, juice, etc.) as much as possible. If you can’t keep anything down you run the risk of dehydration.

If you suspect you (or your child) are dehydrated, consult your doctor immediately.

Food poisoning

If you eat spoiled or poorly processed food your body won’t even try to digest it. Instead you’ll most likely vomit. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do in this case but endure the pain and process. After your body rids itself of the toxins you’ll feel a little better, but you still may be a bit nauseous. If that’s the case try sipping water, sucking on ice chips, or drinking small amounts of non-acidic juice or a sports drink. In addition to calming your tummy this also replaces the fluids and electrolytes you just lost.

Non-food poisoning

If you (or your child) ingest any type of chemical, household product or drug, call 911 immediately. If possible find the packaging in which the poisonous substance was contained so that you may give the emergency care professional as much information as possible. Signs of poisoning include:

  • Grogginess or unconsciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Burns around the mouth and throat
  • Seizures or convulsions

If you suspect poisoning, do not hesitate to call 911.


A common symptom of pregnancy is morning sickness, which is the term for nausea in pregnant women. Morning sickness is due to the chemical and hormonal changes taking place in the woman’s body due to her pregnancy.

Morning sickness (which can actually happen any time of the day) is very normal, and in most cases does not hurt the baby or the mother, UNLESS dehydration is a risk. If you experience morning sickness try to drink as many fluids as possible (especially water) and talk to your doctor about possible treatment BEFORE you take any over-the-counter nausea medications. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an anti-nausea drug made especially to treat nausea in pregnant women.