What is vomiting?

Vomiting, also known as emesis and throwing up, is the forceful ejection of the stomach’s contents. Vomiting is a common symptom of a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. It occurs in all age groups and populations and may or may not occur with nausea.

Depending on the cause, vomiting can begin suddenly and disappear quickly, as in the case of alcohol intoxication. Vomiting may also recur over days, weeks or months, such as vomiting due to morning sickness or pancreatitis.

Vomiting can be a symptom of digestive system disorders as well as disorders of other body systems.

Vomiting that is associated with head injury, vomiting of blood, dizziness, weakness, or change in level of consciousness can be a symptom of a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. Call 911 if you or someone you are with experiences any of these symptoms.


What other symptoms might occur with vomiting?

Vomiting may occur with other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also involve other body systems.

Digestive symptoms that may occur along with vomiting

Vomiting may occur with other symptoms affecting the digestive tract including:


What causes vomiting?   

Conditions that are known to cause vomiting include infection, poisoning, mental health illnesses, malignancy (cancer), inflammation, trauma, obstruction, and other abnormal processes within the digestive system, nervous system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, or endocrine system.

Gastrointestinal causes of vomiting

Vomiting may arise from problems in the di... Read more about vomitingcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 30, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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