Most people should have a true understanding of some of the most common causes of vomiting. Understanding the cause can definitely help a person choose the most appropriate treatment method. Vomiting is not merely a sudden condition without any cause. It can be associated with an underlying disease that you should act upon immediately.

Vomiting is also known as emesis and it is described as the sudden expulsion of the stomach contents out of the mouth. It would be very hard for the person to control this, as there is a certain force that pushes the stomach contents that gives someone an urge to let the latter all out. There is usually a feeling before vomiting that is known as nausea and this typically marks the onset of the actual vomiting.

Causes Arising From the Brain

Vomiting can be caused by certain unwanted conditions that are directed towards the brain. First of all, migraine attacks, which are primarily caused by different types of triggers, can be greatly associated with nausea and vomiting. Any kind of increased pressure that is directed towards the brain canseriously affect the vomiting center of the brain and stimulate it. Several injuries and diseases can cause increased pressure in the brain. Some of these conditions may include trauma due to injury, infections like meningitis and encephalitis and lastly, tumors.

Another factor that can affect an increase in intracranial pressure is abnormal levels of electrolytes in the blood. Because of the increased intracranial pressure this may cause, a person can experience vomiting together with nausea. Aside from this, certain triggers may cause specific responses in the brain that can also stimulate the vomiting center and lead to the occurrence of nausea and vomiting.

These triggers are known as noxious stimuli.  There are several types of noxious stimuli, including chemical, mechanical and thermal.  Chemical noxious stimuli can involve any kind of exposure to certain types of acids. Mechanical noxious stimuli can involve any deformity that is directed to the tissues. Thermal noxious stimuli can involve exposure to both high and low temperatures. Heat related conditions like heat exhaustion, dehydration or extreme sunburn can also cause vomiting.


Another obvious cause of vomiting is pregnancy. Vomiting in pregnancy is also known as morning sickness and is said to be caused by hormonal changes in the blood. This condition is usually common in the first trimester of the pregnancy.

Vomiting together with nausea is a known normal condition in pregnancy. About 70-80% of women usually experience it in the early months of pregnancy, specifically in the first trimester.  As the pregnancy approaches its fourth month, these symptoms usually resolve.

There is also an abnormal type of vomiting that can be experienced during pregnancy. This condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum. In this condition, the woman experiences severe and persistent attacks of vomiting together with nausea. Due to such persistence, the person may eventually develop dehydration and abnormal electrolyte levels, which can be considered as great threats to the woman and the baby’s overall health.

Acute Gastroenteritis

Acute gastroenteritis can also be considered as one of the most common causes of vomiting. It is described as the irritation and infection of the gastrointestinal area which often leads to inflammation. Usually, the stomach and the small intestines are what are affected by the said medical condition. The characteristic symptoms of acute gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

There are several factors that can lead to the inflammation of the gastrointestinal area. First of all, acute gastroenteritis can be caused by infection due to the ingestion of virus infected food. Food  contaminated with bacterial toxins can also lead to the development of acute gastroenteritis. Intake of stomach irritating substances like alcohol, tobacco, and even some types of mediations can also lead to the irritation of the lining of the stomach. Smoking can also be a contributing factor to the irritation of the stomach. Once the stomach lining is irritated, this can eventually lead to vomiting.

Other diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract aside from acute gastroenteritis can also lead to vomiting such as peptic ulcer disease.  Irritation of the esophagus, like what is associated with GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease can also lead to vomiting. Conditions of the colon like bowel obstruction can also be associated with vomiting. Once the bowel is obstructed, gas would be unable to pass through the colon effectively and this can trigger the existence of vomiting, as it pushes  the stomach contents out of the mouth forcibly. 


Diabetes can also lead to the development of vomiting, especially in persons with gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is also known as a delay in the normal emptying of gastric contents. There is no obstruction noted in this condition, but patients who are diabetic are known to be able to experience it. The failure lies with the transmission of correct signals to the brain regarding stomach emptying.  Aside from this, abnormal blood sugar levels can also lead to vomiting, because the normal balance of insulin in the body is greatly disrupted.

Other Diseases

There are also other kinds of diseases that may be considered as causes of vomiting. Some of these diseases affect the abdominal organs. These diseases include gallbladder disease, IBD or inflammatory bowel disease, kidney problems, liver problems like hepatitis and certain types of cancers, especially those affecting the stomach and the colon.

Other diseases which are not related to the gastrointestinal tract can also be a cause of vomiting. Some of these diseases include infections of the lungs like pneumonia and bronchitis, eating problems like bulimia and sepsis or infection of the body.

These are some of the most common causes of vomiting that people should definitely be aware of. Once you experience any of the symptoms associated with vomiting and nausea, you should be seek proper medical help immediately so that you will be given the most appropriate medical treatment, depending upon the cause. From the details stated above, it can be said that the causes of vomiting are not confined to only one system of the body.