Vomiting is a natural reflex of the body to eliminate spoilt food or toxic substances that may have been ingested in the stomach. Therefore, when it is necessary, the body will automatically eliminate the food, causing vomiting. For this reason, vomiting should only be induced when the doctor authorises or when one has taken food that is causing intense malaise, and it has not improved otherwise.
In situations when there has been ingestion of a poisonous substance or some kind of irritating liquid like a cleaning product, it is ideal not to induce vomiting. This is because, the liquid will have to go back to the throat and it may cause damage due to acidity. In such situations, it is recommended to go to the hospital immediately so as to start the most appropriate treatment.
5 steps to induce vomiting correctly
To induce vomiting correctly while avoiding any form of discomfort or serious complications, one should follow the following steps:
1. Wash hands thoroughly
Washing of hands is very important as it prevents the transmission of bacteria other microorganisms to the throat. This will also prevent attack by other infections such as tonsillitis.
2. Kneel in front of the vase
Getting down on your knees in front of the vase is one of the most comfortable and safe position whenever you are inducing vomiting.
3. Place your finger down your throat
At the back of the mouth near the throat there is a part that can be tightened so as to increase the urge to vomit. To do this, place you finger inside the mouth then put slight pressure at the back of the tongue, near the region where the tongue begins, at the bac of the mouth. The urge to vomit will be felt almost immediately. However, for some people, they may have to do this 2 to 3 times before successfully inducing vomiting. This is because the body may try to block this signal in the first few attempts.
4. Drink 1 glass of water
After successfully vomiting, it is important to taka a glass of water which will purpose to remove excess gastric acid that will be stuck on the walls of the throat. This is because it may cause minor burns and inflammations.
5. Wait 30 minutes before washing your teeth
Although after vomiting, there is always a great urge to eliminate the flavour and taste that was left in the mouth, it is best just to take water. This is because the teeth will become sensitive after it comes into contact with the contents of the stomach. It is therefore ideal to wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing the teeth.
Possible risks of causing vomiting
One of the greatest risks that come with vomiting is development of pneumonia. This is because, whenever you vomit the contents of the stomach get back ti the mouth and in the process some of it will be aspirated into the lungs. If this occurs, it will lead to inflammations and bacteria that was initially in the digested food may grow in the lungs, hence causing pneumonia.
Moreover, frequent vomiting can also cause lesions in the oesophagus and the mouth. This is because these are the sites that are made of sensitive mucous membranes that are not always prepared to come into contact with gastric acid from the stomach.
What can cause vomiting?
Although the urge to vomit is usually automatic, there are situations that can be a sign of changes in the body that would later result to vomiting. They include:
- Severe abdominal problems such as appendicitis or intestinal obstruction
- Changes in the digestive system, such as food poisoning or ulcers
- Changes in the nervous system, such as meningitis, hydrocephalus or tumours
- Pregnancy, especially after the 6th week of gestation;
- Use of medications such as Digoxin, Codeine or chemotherapy.
Although there are some situations where vomiting can be induced without posing any great risks, if the urge to vomit arises often and does not improve, and it is accompanied by other signs such as blood or foul smell, then it is advisable to go to the hospital for further examination so as to asses the situation.
As you try to induce vomiting, avoid exerting too much pressure on the belly as this will cause more discomfort.
When not to induce vomiting
Vomiting should never be induced as a way of removing ingested food from the stomach just because you have eaten too much. If you experience the urge often, then it might be a sign of bulimia. This is a type of eating disorder where a person tries to induce vomiting so as not to gain fat.
In addition, if any poison or cleaning product is ingested, one should not vomit as this will increase the risks of getting burns in the oesophagus.