Seven steps to vomit quickly and safelyInducing vomiting can be an unpleasant and exhausting task. However, it is possible to vomit safely by stimulating the gag reflex. Studies affirm that this is a protective reaction manifested when an irritating or external stimulus touches the base of the tongue or the posterior tonsillar pillar. In general, a sudden contraction of the palate and pharyngeal constrictors occurs in response to the initial stimulus.
1. Find a private place and wash your hands.Given the need to vomit, the first thing to do is find a private space free from noise and onlookers. Most people choose to head to the bathroom or choose wooded areas if they are outdoors. However, it is advisable to warn someone to be vigilant. Similarly, hand washing is crucial to prevent throat contamination by harmful microorganisms. To do this, we just have to rub the fingers and palms of the hands with plenty of water and antiseptic soap.
2. Prepare a site to dump the vomit.Throwing up in front of the toilet is usually the safest and easiest way. In this sense, you should kneel or lean before it, avoiding putting pressure on the abdomen. If you’re outdoors, a disposable bag or container might work. Removing from the hands any accessory that could get dirty is advisable. If you are with a friend or relative, you can ask them to hold your hair. Also, people with long hair should tie it up with a rubber band to avoid getting dirty.
3. Use your finger to induce vomiting.Nausea and retching are warning signs that vomiting is coming. If you perceive these symptoms, you should not try to hold them back. In the same way, you can help your body by placing a finger inside the mouth and applying light pressure to the back of the tongue. Another area that can be stimulated to vomit safely is the back of the palate and the uvula. The latter is nothing more than the small bell hanging on the mouth’s roof. At first, the person will perceive retching and sudden contractions in the stomach and throat. After stimulating 2 to 3 times, the expulsion of the gastric contents will take place.
4. Drink plenty of water.It is advisable to drink liquid after vomiting. This way, you can remove gastric juices attached to the mouth or throat. In general, you can drink one glass of water little by little or suck on ice. In addition, this action allows replacing part of the lost liquid through vomiting, preventing the complications of dehydration.
5. Take a seat and relax.In most cases, people feel muscle weakness, tiredness, and fatigue after vomiting. Therefore, giving the body a couple of minutes to recover is crucial. In this sense, it is advisable to rest sitting for 20 to 30 minutes or lying down with a pillow on your back until you feel a slight improvement. Lying on your stomach or side in the first hour is not recommended.
6. Brush your teeth after 30 minutes.Teeth and gums are often sensitive after contact with acid from gastric contents. In this sense, waiting between 20 to 30 minutes before brushing your teeth is advisable. To eliminate the unpleasant taste in the mouth, you can make small swishes with water.
7. Avoid meals for a couple of hours.Like the rest of your body, the stomach recovers after vomiting. That is why a vital step to vomiting safely is to avoid eating for 1 to 2 hours after gastric expulsion. Try not to eat copious meals or dishes rich in fat and sugar when you resume eating.
4 Methods to Vomit Quickly and SafelyAs mentioned, the most widely used technique to stimulate vomiting is the introduction of the finger into the throat. However, several techniques promoted in lore facilitate the induction of the gag reflex. The most used are the following:
1. Gargle repeatedlyRepeated gargling can promote vomiting. These must be intense to adequately stimulate the oropharyngeal receptors that induce the gag reflex. Remember not to stop any nausea or retching that may occur, as they often precede vomiting.
2. Trowel or toothbrushSome people cannot induce vomiting using a finger or stop it voluntarily for fear of getting dirty. In this case, it is recommended to use a trowel or toothbrush to reach the posterior palate or uvula. The object must not be inserted deeply due to the risk of obstruction.
3. SaltwaterAccording to popular wisdom, drinking a glass of water with 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt is a useful technique for vomiting. However, this method could be harmful to health. In general, the high concentration of salt in the body, or hypernatremia, causes nausea and vomiting.
4. Unpleasant stimuliUnpleasant odors and tastes trigger nausea and retching in many people. In this sense, they can increase sensitivity to vomiting. An example is the smell of rotten eggs or other decaying food. This method builds on the foundation of aromatherapy, where pleasant odors are used as contrast treatments for nausea. A study published in the Iranian Crescent Medical Journal concluded that the scent of lemon may effectively reduce pregnancy vomiting.
Possible complications of inducing vomitingThe risks of stimulating vomiting are associated with the passage of gastric juices into the respiratory tract, fluid loss, and damage to the walls of the digestive system. Aspiration of vomitus can lead to suffocation and promote infection of the respiratory tree. Studies affirm that aspiration pneumonia results from the passage of gastric contents into the lungs, accompanied by irritation, inflammation, and the risk of bacterial proliferation. On the other hand, the continuous induction of vomiting usually leads to dehydration and loss of essential electrolytes. This complication is more frequent in children, a frequent reason for pediatric consultation. Furthermore, in persistent vomiting, gastric contents can cause injuries and burns in the esophagus, throat, and mouth. A common finding in the face of this complication is bloody vomit or hematemesis.
What situations can cause vomiting?Involuntary vomiting is a frequent symptom in numerous pathologies of the digestive tract. In addition, it can also be the result of systemic conditions. Some common causes are as follows:
- Appendicitis, gastroenteritis, and peptic ulcer.
- Intestinal obstruction.
- Food poisoning.
- Hydrocephalus and meningitis.