How to control vomiting

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Vomiting is not a problem, it is a symptom. There are few remedies you can use to control it. Read on to know more about controlling vomiting.

How to control vomitingVomiting is a symptom that children and adults may experience from time to time. Reasons why we vomit include morning sickness during pregnancy, after a night of excessive alcohol consumption, during motion sickness, after taking certain medicines like antibiotics and due to indigestion and overeating. There are many reasons vomiting can occur, so it’s important to guess correctly what’s causing it and how you can stop it using simple measures.

How to control vomiting

  1. When you have vomiting due to food poisoning, try not to eat anything till the feeling of nausea and vomiting subsides. Then start with simple carbohydrates like crackers or Marie biscuits. Whenever the nausea wave comes, take deep breaths – inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
  2. If the vomiting is due to jaundice, take boiled vegetables and rice or light `khichdi’ and fruits. Do not consume fried or spicy foods as the liver is weak and the body cannot digest heavy food.
  3. Avoid milk and milk products like cheese, ghee and butter as they are difficult to digest. Stick to yoghurt and rice items which are bland.
  4. Ginger is a natural anti-emetic. Have ginger tea or take ginger tablets or ginger juice mixed with honey to stop the vomiting. Alternatively roast two pods of cardamom, powder them and mix with honey. Take this mixture as often as required to stop the vomiting.
  5. Keep sipping clear fluids like rice water, coconut water and lime juice with sugar and salt. This will help to replace the lost salts from the body. Add drinking water to a sachet of oral rehydration solution (ORS, this is the best way to prevent dehydration. Read the instructions on the sachet to make ORS correctly.
  6. Take a drug containing domperidone, ondansetron or prochlorperazine to stop vomiting. In case vomiting occurs soon after taking the medicine, repeat the dose.
  7. After your body can retain simple carbs, you can add watery dal or boiled chicken or grilled fish to your diet in small quantities (avoid chana dal as it causes gas as well as white and back chana). Slowly increase the quantity. Wait for a few days before adding fats like oil, ghee, butter and cheese as those are heavy to digest and may cause vomiting to restart.
  8. Avoid carbonated fizzy drinks as they contain caffeine which can cause vomiting. Also the fizzy bubbles give a feeling of fullness in the stomach which may restart the vomiting.
  9. Check the colour of your urine to determine if you’re dehydrated. Deep yellow urine suggests your body is not getting enough water while pale urine means that you’re not dehydrated, it is a good sign.
  10. Try to get some fresh air, step outside for a small walk if you’re better, being in a claustrophobic environment can aggravate nausea and vomiting. If you can’t go out, relax in a breezy room with good air circulation.
  11. Avoid moving around too much when you are vomiting. Bed rest is the best way to get better, sooner!
  12.  If home remedies are ineffective, consult your family doctor as there may be something else going on. Vomiting is a symptom and may indicate a serious medical problem.

Photographs by sxc.hu

Written by Dr Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician 

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