What is vomiting?
Vomiting or emesis is an act of ejecting the contents of the stomach through the mouth. It is a symptom of different health conditions (infection, stomach flu, blocked intestine due to cancer spread or advanced colon cancer), and certain cancer treatments like cisplatin, radiation therapy, or surgery.
How bad is my vomiting?
Mild: You may have a dry mouth, nausea, dizziness and appetite loss. Follow the tips given in the section below to manage mild vomiting.
Moderate: You may have a significant weight loss, dehydration, or malnutrition. Sometimes, it may require medical assistance.
Severe: Visit your doctor if you are vomiting for longer than 24 hours. Other alarming symptoms are blood in the vomit; severe abdominal pain and sleeplessness.
How to manage mild vomiting?
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid undercooked or raw foods
- Eat light, bland foods (saltine crackers or plain bread)
- Avoid fried, greasy, or sweet foods
- Eat slowly and eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Do not mix hot and cold foods
- Drink beverages slowly
- Avoid activity after eating
- Avoid brushing your teeth after eating
- Choose foods from all the food groups as you can tolerate them to get adequate nutrition
- Use ORS (oral rehydration solution) or liquid meal replacements to recover lost body fluids
How to manage moderate and severe vomiting?
See a doctor immediately if
- Blood in the vomit (“coffee grounds” appearance)
- Severe headache or stiff neck
- Decreased alertness
- Severe abdominal pain
- Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Rapid breathing or pulse
What causes vomiting?
- Motion sickness
- Chemotherapy [cisplatin, fluorouracil (5FU), Temodar]
- Radiation therapy
- Exposure to chemical toxins
- Emotional stress
- Gallbladder disease
- Food poisoning
- Various viruses
- Certain smells or odors
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