Introduction to nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of an underlying disease and not a specific illness. Nausea is the sensation that the stomach wants to empty itself, while vomiting (emesis) or throwing up, is the act of forcible emptying of the stomach.
Vomiting is a violent act in which the stomach has to overcome the pressures that are normally in place to keep food and secretions within the stomach. The stomach almost turns itself inside out – forcing itself into the lower portion of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) during a vomiting episode.
What causes nausea or vomiting?
There are numerous causes of nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may be due to the following:
- acute gastritis
- central causes (signals from the brain)
- association with other illnesses remote from the stomach
- medications and medical treatments
- mechanical obstruction of the bowel
Acute gastritis (gastro=stomach + it is= inflammation) is often caused by an offending agent which irritates the lining of the stomach. Examples of these include: