If you eat and then cause vomiting

Method 1 Stopping the Sensation Using Relaxation Techniques

  1. Place a cool, damp cloth on your forehead or back of your neck. Never use an ice pack. Especially if your head is throbbing and you feel the sudden onset of heat, this technique might help prevent emesis.

  2. Go outside to get fresh air. Take a short walk around the yard or on the sidewalk, but don’t go too far. Breathe a little deeper than normal but nothing out of the ordinary. Fresh air can feel soothing to your lungs and body.

  3. Keep your feet at a higher level than your body. Put pillows under your feet to prop them up.

  4. Activate your sense of touch.

    It may be because it distracts your body from fixating on the nausea, or it may be something else entirely. But touching things around you actually helps.To generate a very little bit of pain — nothing serious.

    • Try pinching your arm
    • Tap your balled-up fist on your thigh
    • Pull a little bit of your hair
    • Bite your lower lip
    • Dig your fingernails into your forearm
  5. Use acupressure.

    Acupressure is the manipulation of pressure points on your body in order to relieve pain. The wrists are what many acupressurists tend to target when nausea and vomiting occur.

    • Face your palm up towards your face. Then, place your thumb gently in the middle of your wrist and push to begin gently massaging the area. Slowly pushing on this pressure point will help relieve nausea.
    • Put the inner parts of both wrists together and press them into one another. You should be activating the same pressure point as in the example above.

Method 2 Stopping the Sensation with Solids

  1. Try digesting something bland, like crackers.

    Dry crackers in small amounts may decrease nausea. That’s because foods high in starch, such as crackers or toast, can help absorb stomach acids.

    If eating crackers works, you may have been hungry, not ill.

  2. Start simple and ramp your way up. Remember that, when you begin to eat again, you should start with some simple carbohydrates, such as gelatin. Slowly work your way up to proteins like chicken noodle soup. Save fats for last, as fat is toughest to digest and can disrupt your already weakened stomach.

  3. Suck on a mint or chew gum to jump-start your intestines in the right direction. Fresh-tasting mints are great as a palate-cleanser and may help reduce nausea. As mentioned earlier, candied ginger is also a good solution to keep the vomiting sensation away.

  4. Avoid acidic, spicy, fatty, or fibrous foods.

    These foods make your stomach work overtime, meaning that the chance you feel you need to vomit increases. Acidic, spicy, and fatty foods are all self-explanatory. Fibrous foods include many vegetables, meats, and coarse grains.

    • If diarrhea accompanied your vomiting, avoid dairy products as well. Like other foods mentioned above, dairy can be hard for the stomach to process.
    • Avoid very hot or very cold food. Your stomach has to work overtime to make very cold food warm enough to process, and very hot food cool enough to process.

Method 3 Stopping the Sensation with Liquids

  1. Stick with water in the beginning.

    If you’ve been vomiting a lot recently, drink only

    small amounts of water at a time. Too much water processed too quickly can cause you to begin to throw up.

    • If you want, try sucking on an ice cube. The cool water feels good going down your throat and it’s nearly impossible to drink too much water by melting the ice cube in your mouth.
  2. After you’ve had water, stick with clear liquids, and preferably something with electrolytes.

    Clear liquids aside from water are helpful in replacing certain essential vitamins that you may have lost while previously vomiting.

    • If you can, try to drink liquids that are high in potassium and sodium. These are among the body’s most important electrolytes. They are often lost when the body goes through the vomiting process.
    • Acceptable “clear” liquids include:
      • Weak tea
      • Bouillon
      • Apple juice
      • Sugar free sports drinks
  3. Use syrups and tonics to help calm your stomach.

    Coke syrup (the kind used in soda machines) may work in soothing your upset stomach, as might over the counter syrups like Emetrol. Children should have 1-2 teaspoons while adults should have 1-2 tablespoons.

    • While there is little science to back up the claim that coke syrup works, it has been used for generations in order to soothe upset stomachs. In fact, it was originally used as a stomach tonic.
    • Syrups like Emetrol can be safely used by children. Although it is often used by women who are pregnant, the manufacturer’s guidelines recommend checking with your doctor before taking.
  4. Avoid liquids with caffeine, carbonation, and high amounts of acidity.

    This includes many sodas and coffee, as well as fruit juices like orange juice, grapefruit juice, or lemonade.

  5. Try to drink a little ginger tea in order to quell your nausea.

    Ginger has been a renowned nausea-buster for quite some time now, beating out dramamine in effectiveness in one particularly noteworthy study.

    You can purchase bagged ginger tea or

    brew your own ginger tea with honey

    , also called Tisane.

    • If you don’t want warm tea but still want the soothing benefits of ginger, try drinking ginger ale. Pop open a can and let the carbonation die off first; remember that carbonation can upset an already fragile stomach, causing vomiting.
    • Another option to try if you want ginger but can’t stomach any fluids is to try candied ginger. Try nibbling on a small amount of candied ginger once every 45 minutes.

Method 4 Stopping the Sensation Using Drugs

  1. Try Dramamine if your vomiting is induced by nausea.

    Dramamine, or “dimenhydrinate”, is used to cure nausea, an upset stomach and vomiting. It should not be taken by children under 2 years of age. If you suspect that a certain activity is going to make you nauseous or might induce vomiting, take Dramamine 30 to 60 minutes before starting the activity.

  2. If pain is accompanying your illness or vomiting, take acetaminophen. Unlike NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, acetaminophen will relieve pain without making your nausea any worse.

  3. Get a prescription for a scopolamine patch.

    Scopolamine patches prevent nausea and vomiting and are applied as a patch to the skin directly behind the ear.

    Be advised, however, that scopolamine patches carry a long list of side-effects that may outweigh the troubling but tolerable existence of nausea.

  4. If your vomiting hasn’t stopped after two days for adults, or one day for children, see a doctor.

    You could be dangerously low on fluids and may need to be hooked up to an IV.

Community Q&A

  • Why can’t I breathe for a minute after I vomit?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Your body may be in shock, which can be a normal condition when vomiting. If it continues to a dangerous level, seek treatment.

  • What if I throw up from my nose too?

    wikiHow Contributor

    This is normal, don’t worry. Sometimes when you vomit, it may be coming up all at once, or too fast. It isn’t a very pleasant feeling, but it’s nothing to worry about.

  • Is there such a thing as throwing up too much in one day for a child?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Yes. If a child has thrown up more than three times in one day, they should definitely go to the doctor.

  • I keep feeling like I am going to throw up but I never do, what should I do?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Be prepared to throw up because the mind does not want you to think you are going to throw up but when it happens, you will know to trust your stomach’s reaction over your mind’s resistance.

  • What if I feel hungry but can’t keep anything down?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Eat something light and leave it for at least two hours. If you vomit it back up, it’s best just to stick to drinks.

  • I vomit every time I eat or drink stuff and my tummy starts to hurt. What should I do about it?

    wikiHow Contributor

    You might have a ulcer or some sort of stomach acid problem. You should go to your doctor to get help for the pain and to make the vomiting go away with prescribed medicine.

  • I keep vomiting due to the force of my cough what do I do to stop it?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Try suppressing your cough by drinking water or using a cough drop/lozenge. If you are seriously ill, consult your physician.

  • Is it normal to feel weak after vomiting? What should I do?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Yes, feeling weak is normal. Listen to your body and take it easy until you gain your energy back. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help prevent dehydration which can cause even more weakness.

  • My 3 months old baby has a non stop vomiting — what should i do to stop it?

    wikiHow Contributor

    The only thing you can and should do is go to your doctor or the emergency ward immediately. Constant vomiting for a baby is potentially life threatening.

  • Should you take a hot or cold bath when you feel sick?

    wikiHow Contributor

    A hot bath or shower will help clear your sinuses, but water temperature probably doesn’t matter much past that. The one (rare) exception is vomiting caused by longterm cannabis use, which can be relieved with hot showers.

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  • Relax and take slow deep breaths. Sometimes the anxiety or fear of being sick may increase the nausea and make it worse.
  • Don’t drink while you’re lying down — that makes it too easy for the liquid to come back up.
  • Don’t eat more food because that will just make your illness worse.
  • Breathe. Always remember to take deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Generally when you are about to vomit, you salivate or accumulate quite a bit of fluid in your mouth beforehand and that should be the cue to find somewhere to vomit, pronto!
  • Relax and sit on a couch or lie in a warm bed and wrap a blanket around yourself.
  • If you have a stomach flu try to only use one bathroom with all your germs in it and don’t let anyone else in because they could easily catch it.
  • Always keep a bag or trashcan near by, and if you feel the urge to vomit, just stand up and take deep breaths.
  • A good food option when you start eating again is Popsicles and applesauce. They are bland enough to eat when you’re sick.
  • Try not to drink too much water or other liquids, otherwise your nausea could get worse.
  • Move to a cooler and breezier environment, crowded areas may decrease the available oxygen and cause claustrophobia.
  • If vomiting or nausea is because of a migraine, you might want to stay away from bright light, loud noise or any strong aroma. Avoid chocolate and dairy too.
  • If you feel like you’re going to throw up, and absolutely can’t help it, take deep breathes and relax. Let it just come out, and you’ll avoid a whole lot of pain. Remember, sometimes your stomach just can’t handle certain foods.
  • If you are starting to get the hiccups,the best thing to do is go near to bathroom and wait because hiccups may cause vomiting.
  • Try brushing your teeth to make you feel fresher and get rid of any bad tastes in your mouth!
  • Don’t think about being sick because this will only make you want to vomit more. Watching TV may help to take your mind off it.
  • Drink ginger ale (that is made using real ginger, not artificial flavours); it helps relieve stomach aches.
  • Eat breads or crackers: these will help your stomach but don’t eat to much or you’ll just get worse.
  • Know the causes of your nausea, if this has happened before you may be able to fix or avoid the feeling.
  • Positions that are supposed to help with menstruation cramps can often help with nausea too. For example sit on your knees, bend forward and relax your head against your forearms.
  • Medicate before you have over whelming nausea, so the medicines stay down and have a chance to work.
  • Walk and get deep breaths. Fresh air is very helpful.
  • Vomiting causes you to lose a huge amount of liquids your body needs. Dehydration can also be the trigger for vomiting. Drink small amounts of water at a time. Drinking too much water will upset your stomach and cause vomiting.
  • When you feel sick, don’t put your head lower than the rest of your body, because it may cause you to throw up.
  • Distract your self from the nausea. Read a book while listening to some soft music or watch a quiet show on TV.
  • If you feel nauseous, don’t think that you’ll puke. Think about something that makes you happy. This can help relieve nausea in some cases.
  • Lay on your left side and try to restrict movement.


  • If you eat fast, your stomach may not have time to keep it all down; resulting in it all coming back up.
  • In terms of medication, take any Prochlorperazine to stop the vomiting. These include Stematil, Compazine, Phenotil, Stemzine or Buccastem.
  • If you can’t help yourself from throwing up, and are doing it regularly, go see a doctor immediately.
  • Throwing up isn’t supposed to be used to make yourself thinner. Bulimia is a disorder, and is very unhealthy. Seek medical advice.
  • Diabetics should consult with their doctor before consuming sugary syrups.
  • Don’t eat last minute meals.

Things You’ll Need

  • The right mentality

  • Mints, dry crackers or toast

  • Ginger ale or other clear liquids

  • Tea, juices, or sports drinks

  • Bucket to vomit in

  • Wet towel or wet tissues

  • Distractions such as TV, books, or games

Article Info

Categories: Nausea and Vomiting

In other languages:

Italiano: Smettere di Vomitare, Español: dejar de vomitar, Deutsch: Erbrechen verhindern, Português: Parar de Vomitar, Русский: остановить рвоту, 中文: 止吐, Čeština: Jak zastavit zvracení, Bahasa Indonesia: Menghentikan Muntah Muntah, Français: stopper les vomissements, Nederlands: Stoppen met overgeven, 한국어: 구토를 막을 수 있는 방법, हिन्दी: उल्टियाँ रोकें, Tiếng Việt: Ngừng Cảm giác Buồn nôn, ไทย: รักษาอาการคลื่นไส้อาเจียน, العربية: وقف التقيؤ

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This article features various causes of stomach ache after meals, including tips for prevention. You will find here some obvious causes of stomach pain (eating too fast, gastroenteritis, stomach ulcer, taking medication) as well as some less known causes of upset stomach.

Stomach is a muscular organ located on the upper left side of the abdomen. This organ plays a vital role in the digestion of food. If you experience pain in your addomen right after eating, it indicates that there is something wrong with your stomach or the surrounding organs.

Stomach pain after meals can either be mild, moderate or severe. Treatment of ache should focus on the cure of underlying cause.

Why your stomach hurts after meals?


If you started having stomach ache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting after eating food then probably you’re suffering from gastroenteritis (1). Gastroenteritis is inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestines, which usually follows bacterial or viral infections. These infectious organisms are most commonly present in contaminated foods or water.

Gastroenteritis causes pain in the stomach as quickly as 2-4 hours after eating the contaminated food.

Prevention & treatment

You may get better without treatment after a few days. The key treatment is IV fluids, oral rehydration solution (ORS), antibiotics and anti-emetics (to treat nausea and vomiting). To keep away gastroenteritis, always wash your hands before handling or eating any food. If you suspect the food you are about to eat is contaminated, you should avoid it.

Peptic ulcer disease

Peptic ulcers refer to painful sores in the walls of the stomach (2). The stomach secretes acid, which helps in the digestion of food. The lining epithelium of the stomach prevents this acid from damaging stomach itself.

When your stomach’s protective lining is damaged, the acid starts to digest the stomach itself and the result is peptic ulcer disease (PUD) occurs. PUD is a painful condition, especially if the ulcer are deep.

Common causes are H.pylori (a bacterium) infection, alcohol and drugs like NSAIDS. Stomach pain due to PUD begins about two hours after eating a meal. It is severe pain in the upper abdomen and sometimes radiates to the back.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid smoking, alcohol consumptions and NSAIDs. Proton pump inhibitors to block acid secretion and antacids to neutralize acid in the stomach are used for the treatment. Antibiotics are also advised to treat H. pylori infections.

Sensitive stomach and food intolerance

The most probable cause of stomach ache and discomfort after intake of food is food intolerance (3). Pain is coupled with sweating, nausea and vomiting. It is known as “non-allergic food hypersensitivity”.

It is an old saying “One man’s food is another man’s poison”. In other words, this saying means that different people can have different reactions to exactly the same food. Sensitivity to foods varies from person to person. Sensitivity depends upon the type and amount of food eaten. People show sensitivity to foods like peppers and mushrooms.

If you’re sensitive to certain food then after eating that food your stomach and intestines would respond by going into a spasm (a sudden, involuntary contraction of abdominal muscles) that may result in a severe stomach ache and diarrhea. It can result in an emergency requiring immediate treatment.

Prevention & treatment

It is necessary to discover and remember the food to which you are intolerant or sensitive to. Avoidance and limitations of that food for sure may be helpful.


You may suffer from stomach pain after taking spicy foods. Capsaicin, one of the components of spicy food, is the culprit (4). When you eat spicy food, capsaicin comes into contact with the lining epithelium of the stomach and irritates it, leading to pain and temporary discomfort.

Capsaicin is naturally found in chilies such as poblanos, jalapenos and habaneros. It is also used in farming and gardening to keep bugs and animals away.

Prevention &treatment

Limit the level of spice in your food. If you could avoid spicy and junk foods all together that would be better. Take fluids (not colas) during eating to lessen the effect of spices on the stomach. Cucumber, pear and peppermint oil can offer you some relief.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose is a sugar that is naturally present in milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, chocolate and soy products. This sugar is digested by an enzyme called lactase, which is normally present in the gut. Some people lack this enzyme and are known as “lactose intolerant” (5).

Therefore, if you’re lactose intolerant you take a product that contains lactose, it may result in bloating, severe pain in the stomach and gas.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid dairy, soy and all other products that contain lactose in abundance. Use milk products that have reduced lactose – such products are available in the market.

You can also take lactase substitutes in the form of tablets, capsules or liquid drops. Lactase substitutes replace the deficient lactase enzyme in the intestines and help in the break down of lactose.

Fructose intolerance

If you experience diarrhea, heartburn and bloating in addition to pain in the stomach every time you eat fruits, you are likely to have fructose intolerance (6). Fructose is naturally present in all fruits and is the sweetest of all sugars. In those with fructose intolerance, fructose is not digested at all. This undigested fructose goes to the intestines and bacteria in the intestine ferment that sugar and release gase. This gas result in the symptoms of fructose intolerance.

Prevention & treatment

Elimination of fruits and table sugar is an effective treatment.

Gluten intolerance

Some people are allergic to gluten (7). Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley and graham flour. Gluten intolerance is the reaction of your immune system after you eat gluten. The reaction is preceded by inflammation, which damages the lining of your small intestines, which may lead to severe stomach ache as well as bloating.

Prevention & treatment

Enjoy a gluten free diet. Eat foods like fresh meats, fruits, potatoes, vegetables, rice and corn, which are completely free of gluten.


You may feel a mild stomach ache and discomfort after eating certain kinds of foods (8). That food might be very oily or fatty. The pain is usually attributed to indigestion. You may feel like burping a lot and you may have an acidic taste in your mouth too. This pain usually goes in a few hours.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid spicy and fatty foods. Do not talk while eating and do not take late night meals. Eat slowly and take small meals. Do not lie down just after eating. Avoid alcohol and beverages containing caffeine. Indigestion problems can be easily treated by the use of acid blockers, for example omeprazole, esomeprazole etc.

Abdominal cramps due to wind

Stomach cramps (sudden, severe, painful and involuntary muscle contraction) after eating often occur due to trapped wind and bloating. It can be very embarrassing from time to time. The abdomen may become swollen or bloated too (9).

Prevention & treatment

To prevent entry of wind, eat slowly. Avoid unnecessary talks while food in the mouth. The pain is usually relieved by passing wind. The problem is very easy to deal. Abdominal muscle relaxants such as buscopan or mebeverine are usually recommended for the treatment of stomach ache associated with bloating.

Anxiety, stress and depression

Stress, anxiety and depression can cause stomach problems (10). These conditions reduce the blood supply to the stomach and poor blood flow to the stomach leads to poor digestion, resulting in bloating and cramping abdominal pain.

During stressful condition your body releases a hormone known as cortisol or stress hormone, to protect you from the harms of stress.

Prevention & treatment

Cure of stomach pain in such situations is simple and obvious. As stress is the culprit, try your best to relax during meals. Take meals in small divided quantities. If the problem is severe you may need some anti-depressants.

Eating too quickly and over-eating

Sometimes you may experience stomach ache and severe bloating right after eating. One possible cause for this ache is overeating or consuming your food too quickly (11).

It happens when you consume food not simply to please your hunger, however, to satisfy our food cravings. Your digestive system cannot handle so much food and gets disturbed. As a result, the food is not properly digested and you end up with stomach pain. Pain may be accompanied by abdominal discomfort and cramps.

Prevention & treatment

Make a schedule for your diet, plan your meals and make sure to follow the schedule. Curb overeating. In an effort to break down all the food you have eaten, your body may become dehydrated. So, always keep a bottle of water near you to maintain your hydration. You can also take small walks after eating to ease digestion.

Drinking cold drinks with hot food

If you are taking cold drinks with food, you are likely to suffer from stomach ache accompanied by stomach cramps. This happens because extremely cold and chilled drinks cause your stomach muscles to go into a state of spasm (sudden, violent, involuntary and painful contractions) (12).

Prevention & treatment

Avoid cold drinks while eating hot food. Pain automatically goes in a few minutes.

Side effect of medicines like NSAIDs

Over the counter drugs like NSAIDs (aspirin, paracetamol, codeine and ibuprofen), which are usually used for their pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects can cause stomach problems as a side effect (13).

These drugs reduce the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins plays an important role in the stomach as they enhance bicarbonate secretion and inhibits acid secretion. Decrease in their release leads to an overall increase in stomach acidity resulting in pain, cramps, swelling and even diarrhea.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid unnecessary use of NSAIDs. Those people who have some sort of stomach problem should completely refrain from these drugs. Take some antacids for immediate cure.


Constipation is a very common problem. It is known as the “mother of all disease”. Constipation can be defined as passing hard, painful stools or passing stools less frequently than usual or less than 3 stools in a week. Constipation occurs due to lack of sufficient fiber and water in the diet (14).

Fibers add roughage to your body, makes your stool soft and easy to pass. Constipation leads to crampy pain in the stomach that is aggravated after eating because the intestines are already loaded with food. More food cannot enter into the intestines from the stomach, which then leads to stomach ache, swelling and bloating.

Prevention & treatment

You can get immediate relief by walking and light exercises. Light exercises restore the normal working of your gut. Drink a lot of water (at least 8 glasses per day) to combat constipation. To keep your digestive system healthy, also add some fibers (it is presnt in fruits, vegetables and whole grains) to your diet. If these measures are not working, you can go for laxatives.

Exercising immediately after eating

Eating and exercising should not be done at the same time (15). Most of the time, blood freely flows around your body, providing nutrients and oxygen to all body cells. When you eat, your digestive system demands increased energy to perform its job effectively. Your digestive sends message to the brain and brain in turn sends the message to heart to pump more blood to the digestive system so that its demand can be fulfilled.

As your gut uses a high amount of energy for digestion, that is why you might feel tired after eating a big meal. When you exercise exactly opposite happens. Now your muscles demand high energy and the brain now sends message to heart to increase its blood flow towards muscles to make them work properly.

So, if you’ve just eaten and have started exercising, your system becomes ‘confused’, because your digestive system is trying to retain blood and oxygen, but your muscles are also trying to suck blood towards them. The end result is stomach pain, cramps and stress.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid exercises immediately after eating. Don’t go swimming right after eating a meal. Don’t go jumping right after meals.


Heartburn is the most common cause of stomach ache after meals (16). It is characterized by burning or painful sensations in the chest and in the upper part of the abdomen. The severity of pain increases when you lie down. Change in posture or bending also worsens it. Pain usually starts right after eating and is usually quite severe in nature.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid cola drinks and foods that are known to trigger heartburn. Avoid smoking. Elevate your bed-head. As acids are the cause, antacids should be taken to neutralize the stomach acids. Medicines that can reduce stomach acid production can also be helpful. Milk can also provide some relief from heartburn.

Irritable bowel syndrome

If your stomach discomfort is persistent after every meal along with the alternating constipation and diarrhea, then you could have irritable bowel syndrome (17).

It is a disorder of GIT of unknown cause. Symptoms of IBS vary from person to person and tend to come and go. General symptoms include stomach pain, tiredness after eating, bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea and mucus in stool.

Prevention & treatment

As the cause is not known treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms. Avoid over-eating, alcohol, coffee and products that contain milk. Maintain a high-fiber diet. Go to your doctor for further advice and help. He may prescribe you anti-diarrheal, antibiotic, fiber supplements, anti-cholinergic medications and anti-depressants.

Stomach cancers

Stomach cancer can be the cause of severe stomach ache right after eating. Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer. It arises in the mucus-producing cells present on the inside lining of the stomach.

Of all the stomach cancers adenocarcinoma is the most common (18).

Adenocarcinoma leads to indigestion, stomach discomfort, pain and bloating after eating. Less common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, heartburn, loss of appetite, fear of eating and feeling of fullness. Weight loss can also occur.

Prevention & treatment

The best treatment option is gastrectomy. Gastrectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the stomach along with the surrounding tissue is removed. Other ways of treating stomach cancers are radiation therapy and chemotherapy.


Diverticulas are pockets or pouches that form in the lining of the intestine. These look like punched-out holes. These are known as weak points and are prone to become infected and inflamed. They occur because of lack of fibers in the diet. As fiber softens the stool its deficiency can make stools hard. Symptoms of diverticulitis are severe stomach cramps accompanied by tenderness in the lower abdomen. Intensity of pain increases after eating (19).

Prevention & treatment

Fiber rich diet can help you. Antibiotics drugs and surgical procedures help in the management of diverticulas.

Food poisoning

How can food poisoning (a popular cause) be forgotten when talking about severe stomach ache after meals. Food poisoning is triggered by microorganisms like parasites, bacteria and viruses. Microorganisms enter the body through infected foods, drinks or hands (20).

Symptoms usually start about 2-4 hours after consumption of the infected food. Common symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms of food poisoning usually last about 1-2 days but in some cases these can be serious or fatal.

Prevention & treatment

Drink a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration. Take some rest as it enables the body to get rid of all the microorganisms. The only medical cure of food poisoning is antibiotics.

Intestinal obstruction

A blockage in your digestive system can prevent or hinder the proper passage of food into the intestines (21). An obstruction can be caused by a number of causes such as large piece of food that was not properly broken down, hernia, tumor or adhesion. One important sign of obstruction is severe crampy pain in the belly after meals followed by a foul smelling vomit. Stools may become watery or are absent at all.

Prevention & treatment

Prevention and treatment depends upon the cause of intestinal obstruction. Treatment is passage of tube from mouth to stomach called as nasogastric tube.

Surgery may also be required.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that affects the organs of the reproductive system in females, including the uterus, ovaries or Fallopian tubes. Infection is usually caused by bacteria (23).

PID can be an indirect cause of stomach ache.

As after eating your stomach becomes full, it puts pressure on your inflamed organs, resulting in pain.

Pain during intercourse can also occur.

Prevention & treatment

Antibiotics can efficiently treat the condition.

Gall stones

Severe pain in the upper right side of abdomen occurs due to gallstones. Pain can also appear in the upper part of the stomach.

The pain aggravates after meals, especially after fatty foods (24).

The gall bladder is a pear shaped organ, present just underneath the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen and stores bile (a dark-green color fluid produced by the liver that aids in the digestion of lipids).

Many conditions lead to the formation of stones in it.

The pain lasts for a few minutes to several hours.

Pain also goes to the back and right shoulder.

Prevention & treatment

Try to avoid fat rich foods and maintain a stable average weight as opposite can precipitate gallstones. Your doctor may prescribe you medicines that can dissolve the gallstones. Ultimate option is surgical removal of gallbladder i.e. cholecystectomy.


A less common cause of stomach ache is pancreatitis (25). Pancreatitis can cause severe stomach pain that comes immediately after taking meals. Stomach cramps may also appear about 6 to 12 hours after eating a meal. The pain starts in the upper abdomen and spreads to the back and sides. Other symptoms are nausea, fever and increased heartbeat.

Prevention & treatment

Normal weight, balanced diet and regular exercise can prevent pancreatitis. Treatment of pancreatitis will also relieve stomach ache.


Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix (26). Appendix is a small sac or pouch attached to the large intestine. The appendix is susceptible to become obstructed by food and bacteria during the digestive process.

Typical symptom are severe pain and discomfort that usually starts in the mid-abdomen and progresses into the lower right part of the abdomen especially after meals.

Fever and vomiting may accompany pain.

Prevention & treatment

It is an emergency condition. The only treatment is immediate appendectomy. If the appendix is not removed on time, it can burst, leading to life-threatening sepsis.

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD is a disease in which the food particles from the stomach instead of passing forward reflux back into the esophagus (27). The cause of GERD is weakening of the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus, allowing food and acid to go upwards. GERD can cause pain in the upper portion of the stomach and lower chest followed by heartburn. Pain becomes worse after eating, especially after overeating or fatty meals.

Prevention & treatment

Avoid solid foods. Cut out greasy foods. Say no to alcohol. Medicines that block or neutralize acid can help you, for example, H2 blockers, antacids and proton pump inhibitors.


Stomach Pain After Eating

This article describes health conditions that can cause stomach ache, nausea or vomiting after eating, triggering foods, pain locations and associated symptoms.

Common causes of pain after eating include abdominal bloating, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption and celiac disease, and food allergies. Food poisoning with bacteria and parasites is also quite a common cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea.

If you want to prevent stomach pain after eating, you may try to avoid certain foods or find out if you have any stomach or bowel disease and treat it.


Stomach disordersGallstonesAcute pancreatitis B. LOWER ABDOMENIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS)Food poisoningInflammatory bowel disease (IBD)DiverticlesIleusMechanical bowel obstruction C. FOODS THAT MAY TRIGGER STOMACH PAIN D. CHILDREN and PAIN AFTER EATING


Upper abdominal pain is located below the rib cage.

Stomach Disorders Acute Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining.

  • Causes: heavy alcohol drinking, severe stress, drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, steroids), infection by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria
  • Symptoms: discomfort (dyspepsia), fullness or burning pain in the upper middle abdomen, which can worsen or improve with eating; sometimes: nausea, vomiting, excessive belching
  • Reference: (1)

Gastric Ulcer

  • Causes: the same as for acute gastritis (see above)
  • Symptoms: burning, gnawing pain below the sternum, which can worsen or improve with eating and often occurs at night; pain can be relieved by antacids
  • NOTE: Duodenal ulcer pain is usually worse on an empty stomach and relieved by eating.
  • Reference: (2,3)

Hiatal Hernia and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

A hiatal hernia is protruding of the upper part of the stomach through the opening in the diaphragm; it is sometimes associated with the backward flow (reflux) of the stomach acid into the esophagus.

  • Symptoms:
    • Burning pain behind and below the breastbone (heartburn), in the throat and between the shoulder blades worse after eating (especially after large meals) or lying down; the pain can last for up to 2 hours and can be relieved by standing upright or taking antacids
    • Indigestion, excessive burping, nausea, feeling of a lump in the throat, hoarseness, dry cough, sour or metallic taste in mouth, food regurgitation, bad breath
  • Triggering foods: chocolate, peppermint, fatty or fried foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, onions, spicy foods, coffee, alcoholic and carbonated beverages. Other triggers: bending over, lifting, acidic drugs and supplements (aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin C)
  • Risk factors: pregnancy, obesity, smoking
  • References: (5,26)

Bile Reflux

Bile reflux refers to the backward flow of the bile from the duodenum into the stomach and, eventually, further up into the esophagus, throat and mouth.

  • Causes: gastric ulcers, stomach surgery, gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, or gallbladder removal
  • Symptoms: upper middle abdominal (epigastric) pain and burning pain in the middle of the chest (heartburn) worse after large meals, sour or bitter taste in mouth, nausea or vomiting greenish-yellow fluid; pain can be relieved by antacids
  • Reference: (25)

Functional Dyspepsia

Functional dyspepsia refers to indigestion without a known cause.

  • Symptoms: upper abdominal pain, excessive belching, early satiety, nausea or vomiting after meals, but sometimes also not related to meals; antacids, sometimes, relieve the symptoms
  • Triggering foods may be the same as in GERD (see above);
  • Reference: (27)

Staph Food Poisoning

  • Cause: intoxication by the Staphylococcus aureus bacterial toxins after eating uncooked foods kept at room temperature (sandwiches, meat cuts, salads, dairy)
  • Symptoms: stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, diarrhea, 30 minutes to 6 hours after ingesting contaminated food; symptoms resolve in few days
  • Reference: (4)

Stomach Cancer

  • Symptoms: upper middle abdominal pain and feeling of fullness after eating small amount of food, nausea, unintentional weight loss, black stools (6)

Biliary Colic

Gallstones or Gallbladder Inflammation (Acute Cholecystitis)

  • Symptoms: severe, constant pain and tenderness in the upper right abdominal quadrant, below the right rib cage or below the sternum, appearing hours after a heavy meal and lasting from 1-6 hours; other symptoms: nausea, vomiting or fever; no pain or other symptoms between the attacks (7,8)

Biliary Dyskinesia

Biliary dyskinesia–a motility disorder of the biliary tract, which includes gallbladder dyskinesia and sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD), can cause pain after meals in the upper right abdomen, lasting at least 30 minutes.

Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis can develop as a complication of gallstones or chronic alcoholism.

  • Symptoms:
    • Dull pain and tenderness that develops in few hours, becomes severe and lasts for several days; it can be located in the upper left, middle or right abdomen and can radiate to the middle back or left shoulder blade; it can become worse within minutes of eating or drinking and after lying down and relieved by sitting and leaning forward
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Fever, jaundice
  • Reference: (9,10)


Lower abdominal pain is located at the level of the belly button or below on each side.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Symptoms: abdominal cramps or bloating, or diarrhea within an hour after eating. NOTE: Nausea is NOT a typical symptom of IBS, but can be caused by another associated condition.
  • Triggering foods (self-reported): large meals, fatty and fried foods, salami, dairy products (especially cheese), chocolate, foods high in insoluble fiber (grains, beans and lentils), fruits high in fructose (apples, pears, mango), plums, drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks) carbonated beverages, alcohol (beer, wine), foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, xylitol)
  • Other possible triggers: emotional stress
  • Reference: (11)

Food Poisoning

  • Causes: bacteria, like Salmonella or Escherichia coli from improperly stored/cooled foods often in places with bad hygiene
  • Symptoms: sudden abdominal cramps and several bouts of diarrhea, which usually start more than 6 hours after eating and last for few days; other: nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, fever
  • Reference: (12)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

  • Symptoms: chronic abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, usually worse after eating; other: skin rash, joint pains
  • Reference: (13)


Diverticles are abnormal pouches in the large intestine.

  • Symptoms: sudden severe pain in the lower left or, sometimes, in the lower right abdomen several hours after eating certain foods; inflammation of diverticles (diverticulitis) is associated with fever and diarrhea.
  • Reference: (14)


Ileus means cessation of bowel motility, usually due to recent abdominal surgery or drugs, such as opioids (morphine, codeine) or anticholinergics (atropine, biperiden)

  • Symptoms: vague, mild abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting within few hours of eating or drinking; the condition is a medical emergency and has to be relieved promptly to avoid bowel rupture.
  • References: (15,16,17)

Mechanical Bowel Obstruction

  • Causes: obstipation (severe constipation), adhesions (scar-like bands between intestinal loops) due to abdominal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, small intestinal lymphoma
  • Symptoms: abdominal cramps, abdominal swelling, nausea or vomiting worse after eating; inability to pass gas or stools
  • Reference: (18)


Large amounts of oats, barley, rye, bananas, beans, peas and lentils can cause abdominal pain with bloating and flatulence (gas pain) starting several hours after ingestion and lasting for several hours.

Low-Fiber Meals

Several hours after meals low in dietary fiber–containing meats, cheese, white bread, fast food, chocolate and other sweets and no or little fruits, vegetables and whole grains–, you may experience constant, severe abdominal pain lasting for several hours.

Lactose Intolerance

  • Triggering foods: milk (usually at least a cup–240 mL)–but not hard cheese or butter–, commercial whey and casein powders; also many drugs and supplements that contain lactose
  • Symptoms: abdominal cramps, bloating and diarrhea after few hours of lactose ingestion

Fructose Malabsorption

  • Triggering foods:
    • Foods that contain more fructose than glucose: fruits/juices (apples, pears, mango), honey, beverage sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), mainly soda
    • “Low-sugar” foods sweetened with sorbitol: carbonated beverages, chewing gum

Olestra Side Effects

Olestra (a fat substitute in snacks, like chips) may trigger sudden severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, greasy stools or diarrhea in some people; symptoms may last for more than a day (23). However, in one 1999 controlled clinical trial, participants who ingested olestra did not have significantly different symptoms than those who ingested placebo without olestra (24).

Food Allergies

  • Symptoms:
    • Sudden upper central abdominal or chest pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea within few minutes to 2 hours (immediate reaction) or, in some people, only 4-28 hours (delayed reaction) after eating even small amount of food
    • Hives (bumpy or patchy red, itchy skin rash)
    • Itchy lips, mouth and throat
    • Swelling of the face and tongue (angioedema) and shortness of breath
  • Common triggering foods in children: wheat, cow’s milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts; in adults: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish; NOTE: practically any food can trigger allergic reaction in certain people, but one person is usually allergic only to one or few foods.
  • Reference: (19,20)


Abdominal migraine refers to recurring sudden, severe abdominal pain of no known cause lasting from 1 hour to up to 3 days, nausea, vomiting, inability to eat and paleness.

  • Triggering foods, according to anecdotal reports, may include chocolate, Chinese food with monosodium glutamate (MSG) and processed meats containing nitrites (hot dogs, cold cuts, sausages, salami); other possible triggers: psychological stress. NOTE: the pain can be unrelated to meals.
  • Reference: (28)

Hereditary Fructose Intolerance

Hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) is a rare genetic disorder of fructose metabolism.

  • Triggering foods: any food, supplement or drug containing fructose, sucrose, sorbitol, oligofructose or fructooligosaccharides (FOS), so fruits, honey, sugar-free chewing gum, some vegetables, like beets and carrots, and most sweetened foods and beverages
  • Symptoms–in order of appearance–: nausea (within an hour), dizziness, hunger, craving for food (due to hypoglycemia), severe upper abdominal pain (after more than 24 hours); other: dark, yellow urine, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Reference: (21,22)
  • References
      1. Acute Gastritis Clinical Presentation  Emedicine
      2. Peptic Ulcer  The Merck Manual Home Edition
      3. Diet for Ulcers and Gastritis  Drugs.com
      4. Staphylococcal Food Poisoning  Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
      5. Hiatal Hernia Symptoms  Mayo Clinic
      6. Stomach cancer  FamilyDoctor
      7. Gallstones  Merck Manuals Home Edition
      8. Acute Cholecystitis and Biliary Colic  Emedicine
      9. Acute Pancreatitis Clinical Presentation  Emedicine
      10. Acute Pancreatitis  MedlinePlus
      11. Böhn L et al, 2013, Self-reported food-related gastrointestinal symptoms in IBS are common and associated with more severe symptoms and reduced quality of life  PubMed
      12. Foodborne Illnesses: What You Need to Know  U.S. Food and Drug Administration
      13. Bowel Disease: Changing Your Diet  WebMed
      14. FAQs about Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis: What You Need to Know  Stony Brook, School of Medicine
      15. Ileus  Merck Manuals Home Edition
      16. Cagir B, Postoperative ileus, overview Emedicine
      17. Ileus, Clinical Presentation  Emedicine
      18. Intestinal Obstruction Symptoms  WebMD
      19. Food Allergies—Just the Facts  American Family Physician
      20. Food Allergy  World Allergy Organization
      21. Sugars & Sweeteners  Boston University
      22. Yasawy MI et al, 2009, Adult hereditary fructose intolerance  PubMed Central
      23. Summaries of Selected Adverse Reactions Reported to Olestra U.S. Food and Drug Administration
      24. Sandler RS et al, 1999, Gastrointestinal symptoms in 3181 volunteers ingesting snack foods containing olestra or triglycerides. A 6-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial  PubMed
      25. Bile Reflux Symptoms  Mayo Clinic
      26. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)  WebMD
      27. Non-ulcer (functional) dyspepsia  Patient.info
      28. Migraine & Headache Guide  WebMD


    Table Of Contents:

    • Causes
    • When To Rush Your Toddler To A Doctor?
    • Treatment
    • Prevention
    • How To Make Your Toddler Feel Better?
    • What To Feed A Vomiting Toddler?

    It happens once, then twice and soon he is throwing up randomly at any time. Vomiting in toddlers is quite unsettling for the parents and things worsen when it occurs quite frequently. There are numerous reasons why your little one throws up – from gastroenteritis to motion-sickness. The reason may not seem apparent, but when you look closely, the real cause could be right in front of you. MomJunction helps you identify the cause and then take remedial measures. We also tell you what you can do to prevent such situation.

    15 Causes Of Vomiting In Toddlers

    Your baby can feel nauseated and eventually vomit, due to several reasons. Here are the most common reasons why toddlers may vomit:

    1. Stomach infection:Sponsored

    Stomach infection is the leading cause of vomiting in toddlers, and among a plethora of stomach infections, viral gastroenteritis is the most common.

    Viral gastroenteritis is also known as stomach flu and stomach bug. The infection causes severe stomach cramps resulting in excruciating pain in the abdominal cavity, which can make the toddler regurgitate the stomach contents and throw up. It may cause the body temperature to rise, leading to fever with vomiting in toddlers. Fever is not always prevalent, though.

    Symptoms: Vomiting could be accompanied by diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and fever. Diarrhea may cause dehydration that could lead to a headache.

    2. Intestinal infection:

    Your toddler may throw up when his intestines contract an infection. There are numerous pathogens, bacteria, and viruses that can infect intestines and vomiting is a symptom of their existence. Infections caused by bacteria such as salmonella and staphylococcus cause vomiting and diarrhea (1). Your tot may or may not have a fever.

    Symptoms: Symptoms are same as stomach infection viz. vomiting with diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

    3. Appendicitis:

    Appendicitis is rare in infants and occurs in kids and teens of 10 to 20 years of age (2). An infected appendix can result in nausea and vomiting in toddlers, accompanied by excruciating pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite and a low fever. The infected appendix sends pain impulses throughout the nerves of the abdominal cavity, which cause the stomach muscles to move abnormally causing nausea and vomiting.

    Symptoms: Piercing pain in the lower right side of the abdomen. There could be a constant sense of nausea along with vomiting. The toddler may also develop a fever.

    4. Pediatric hernia:

    A hernia happens when the bowel (small or large intestine) slips out of the abdominal cavity causing discomfort and increasing the risk of infection. Toddlers can be affected with two types of hernia: inguinal hernia and umbilical hernia (3). An inguinal hernia occurs when the bowel moves into the inguinal canal leading to a swollen bump near the groin. An umbilical hernia is when the abdominal wall right behind the navel is damaged, causing a portion of the small intestine to slip out of the damaged area. In either case, the hernia creates nerve pressure in the abdominal cavity, making the toddler throwing up frequently.

    Symptoms: Hernias are generally visible in the form of a bump in the lower abdomen or groin area. Symptoms apart from vomiting include constant nausea, abdominal cramps, and constipation.

    5. Ingestion of toxic substance:

    Toddlers have a tendency to put things in their mouth. Vomiting can be the result of putting toxic substances, right from wild plants to soaps and detergents, in their mouth. These substances irritate the stomach lining causing the muscles to contract and expel the contents. In the case of ingestion of toxic substances, the toddler may vomit but have no other symptoms such as fever or diarrhea.

    Symptoms: In this case, symptoms are subjective and depend on the potency and quantity of the toxic substance consumed by the toddler. Vomiting could generally be accompanied by nausea and abdominal pain.

    6. Food allergy:

    If your toddler is puking, usually after eating a particular food, then he may be allergic to that food. Vomiting is one symptom of food allergy (4). Throwing up white chunks of milk is a sign of milk allergy or lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the inability of the small intestine to digest milk due to insufficient presence of the enzyme lactase that is necessary for milk digestion.

    Symptoms: Vomiting is one of the many symptoms of a food allergy. Other symptoms could be abdominal pain, skin hives and swollen lips and eyelids.

    7. Acid reflux and bile reflux:

    Acid reflux occurs when the esophageal sphincter, between esophagus and stomach, opens abnormally and lets some of the stomach’s contents, including acid, move upwards through the food pipe. The irritation caused by the acid to the esophageal lining causes nausea and vomiting (5).

    Sometimes, the toddler might throw up bile, which is a greenish-yellow fluid. This is caused by bile reflux. Bile reflux happens when the pyloric valve between the stomach and small intestine malfunctions, allowing bile to move from the small intestine to the stomach. It then irritates the stomach lining causing the muscles to contract and expel the bile outwards through the esophagus in the form of vomit (6).

    Acid reflux and bile reflux can be distinguished by the color of the expelled liquid. If the toddler has acid reflux and bile reflux together then it becomes easier for the bile to come out of the stomach with the refluxed stomach acid.

    Symptoms: Vomiting along with burning sensation in the upper abdominal region and esophagus, and constant dull pain in the abdomen.

    8. Overeating and over-swallowing of air:

    Overeating or swallowing of excess air during feeding can lead to vomiting (7). This may happen when the nipple of the feeding bottle has a big feeding hole. The toddler may thus consume more milk than needed causing his tiny stomach to fill till the brim and then throw up. Swallowing excess air due to poor positioning of the nipple in the mouth can also make the baby have nausea and vomiting.

    Symptoms: Along with vomiting, there could be a stomach ache, and bloating in the abdomen area with heavy burping.

    9. Indigestion:

    Indigestion can lead to vomiting due to the accumulation of undigested food in the stomach (8). The toddler will throw up undigested food hours after eating, indicating that the food has not been digested. This could happen when the little one has consumed food too quickly, overeaten or eaten food that is too spicy or rich in grease and oil.

    Symptoms: Symptoms are subjective here. Generally, vomiting could be accompanied by pain in the stomach.

    10. Certain medication:

    Certain medicines also make toddlers feel sick and vomit, especially if he consumes them on an empty stomach. Vomiting can also be a known side-effect of some medicines.

    Symptoms: Individual medicines have specific symptoms. Vomiting could be one of them.

    11. Motion sickness and headaches:

    If your toddler suddenly throws up with no symptoms or history of illness, then it could be that he suffers from motion sickness. Motion sickness can be an indicator of vertigo, a condition where an individual feels the sense of a shifting balance. This happens when the toddler is in a situation (like a roller-coaster) where there is a constant shift of equilibrium and orientation. This quick shift of balance overloads the inner ear, which is responsible for maintaining the body’s balance and makes it send erratic signals to the brain. This disorients the brain leading it to send distress nerve signals to the stomach muscles and making the toddler vomit. Other brain-related conditions such as headaches can also cause vomiting.

    Symptoms: Dizziness, loss of balance, and a headache.

    12. Ear infections:

    Ear infections can induce vomiting along with dizziness (9). The symptoms here are similar to motion sickness but in this case, the condition is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the middle or inner ear. Labyrinthitis is one such inner ear infection that can lead to vomiting along with vertigo. Similar to motion sickness, the inner ear sends disoriented signals to the brain (due to infection), which in turn stimulates the abdominal muscles to contract and throw up.

    Symptoms: Dizziness, imbalance along with severe nausea and vomiting.

    13. Pneumonia:

    Pneumonia is the inflammation of the alveoli of the lungs due to bacterial or viral infection. A cough and trouble in breathing are the major symptoms of this condition but it can also manifest through vomiting (10). Vomiting and constant nausea are often triggered by a cough. It may also be triggered as a general effect of the infection since pneumonia leads to loss of appetite that makes the toddler feel sick every time he eats something.

    Symptoms: Vomiting is a less common symptom of pneumonia and is accompanied by more common symptoms such as a cough, cold, fever and shortness of breath.

    14. Certain infections and diseases:

    Vomiting is one of the several symptoms of infections such as septicemia and meningitis (11).

    Symptoms: Vomiting with a severe headache, body pain, fever and cold shivers.

    15. Rumination syndrome:

    This is the rarest of all the reasons for vomiting. Rumination syndrome is a rare and underdiagnosed condition in which an individual can regurgitate the contents of the stomach unconsciously without any pain or trouble (12). Unlike the classic case of vomiting, rumination does not make the toddler feel uneasy or cause any discomfort or heartburn. It is a natural contraction of abdominal muscles to push the food upwards, which is beyond the control of the toddler. This generally happens about 30 minutes after the last meal and does not create any secondary symptoms and problems. The expelled food tastes fresh and the toddler will usually chew and swallow it back. It is a key trait that differentiates rumination from vomiting, in which case the expelled food is stale, semi-digested and not fit to swallow.

    There is no known cause for rumination, and it is speculated to occur due to problems in the nervous system. Since the cause is unknown and the condition rare, rumination syndrome is often misdiagnosed as some other reason for vomiting. Treatment of rumination syndrome is physiotherapy involving muscle training to promote the normal movement of abdominal muscles. The doctor may also prescribe some oral medication to subdue the involuntary urge of the nerves to stimulate regurgitation.

    What Is Dry Heaving In Toddlers?

    Retching, also referred to as dry heaving, is the act of dry vomiting when the abdominal and mouth muscles contract like they do in vomiting but the toddler does not expel any substance from the mouth.

    Toddlers dry-heave after they have a bout of vomiting or when they are just feeling nauseated. The reasons for dry-heaving are similar to vomiting, with the added cause that your toddler may retch when he is feeling stressed or uncomfortable.

    When To Rush Your Toddler To A Doctor?

    Sometimes, your toddler’s vomiting could indicate a serious health ailment. You need to take your tot to a doctor under the below circumstances:

    1. There is blood in vomit: If your toddler is throwing up blood, then it could indicate a serious problem. He could be vomiting blood due to a severe stomach infection, bruised esophageal lining due to acid reflux, inflammation in the small intestine, and many other reasons. You must take your little one to a pediatrician as soon as possible.
    1. Vomiting is accompanied by high fever and acute diarrhea: As mentioned earlier, vomiting, accompanied by diarrhea, can be dehydrating. If your toddler has a high fever, then it can make the condition even more distressful. A quick medical response is the best way to alleviate the condition.
    1. The vomit is always green or black in color: If the vomit is greenish in color, then it can be due to bile reflux, which could be an indicator of a serious intestinal infection or even ulcer. Black and dark brown vomit could be an indicator of blood clots due to an erstwhile internal bleeding. It can happen due to reasons ranging from milk allergies to deficiency of vitamin K.
    1. The abdomen is swollen: A visibly swollen tummy could be due to severe infection or fluid retention caused by a fundamental problem. Either way, it is an alarming sign and should be brought to swift medical attention.
    1. The toddler is fatigued and has weakened pulse: These symptoms will be accompanied by decreased alertness and a general disorientation. The toddler will urinate fewer times in the day, maybe once in eight hours. These all can be signs of severe dehydration due to loss of water and electrolytes through vomiting. The condition is aggravated if the toddler is also suffering from diarrhea.

    Vomiting could be spontaneous or acute depending on the severity of the problem.

    Treatment For Vomiting In Toddlers

    The treatment for your toddler’s vomiting is subjective as the medicine for his vomiting will depend on the underlying problem. Generally, vomiting is a symptom of various problems. Therefore, a doctor will look for the other signs to diagnose the condition.

    Similarly, precautions also depend on the underlying condition.

    Precautions To Prevent Vomiting

    However, you can follow some generic safety measures to try and avoid the conditions that lead to vomiting.

    1. Always provide clean and hygienic food: Maintain cleanliness at home and your kitchen. Clean the utensils you use for your toddler and sterilize them. Prepare your baby’s food under hygienic conditions because eating clean food is one way of preventing exposure to disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
    1. Limit the quantity of acid reflux and indigestion-causing foods: Foods such as chocolates, processed foods, and citrus fruits may cause acid reflux. If your toddler is prone to acid reflux, then limit the quantity of these foods. Also, ensure he eats slowly and never overeats, to prevent indigestion.
    1. Learn the side-effects of medicines before giving it to your baby: Medicines may have side-effects when consumed on an empty stomach. When giving your baby such medicines, inquire from the doctor about all the probable effects on the baby’s digestion.
    1. Manage your toddler’s food allergy: If you know your toddler is allergic to a certain food, then take every step to prevent him from eating that food. Avoid the products that have the food as an ingredient.
    1. Avoid situations that may cause motion sickness: Do not take your motion-sick toddler for a ride on a mini-roller coaster in a theme park. Also, avoid other triggers like traveling through a long twisty road, a super fast elevator or anything that might make him throw up.
    1. Keep your baby hydrated: Vomiting can be dehydrating and if it is accompanied with diarrhea, then it can quickly deplete the body’s water reserves. Keep a steady inflow of water and electrolytes to prevent the risk of severe dehydration.

    How To Make Your Toddler Feel Better?

    If the precautions do not work, and your toddler is feeling sick, then you would want to make every effort to ease his condition. Here are some ways you can follow to make him feel better:

    1. Do not force your little one to eat: Do not force your toddler to eat anything when he seems visibly distressed due to constant vomiting. It is okay if he skips a meal since he is doing so because of the discomfort caused by vomiting and the underlying problem. Solid food may not be the right choice as his digestive system is not in a condition to digest it.
    1. Provide plenty of fluids: Feed him fluids since vomiting and diarrhea drain the body of water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Give your toddler fluids such as dissolved oral rehydration salts (ORS) in small sips or with a tablespoon. This should rehydrate him while also providing him with supplementary calories until he can eat solid food. Avoid giving milk and juices since they can be difficult to digest.
    1. Make your toddler rest: Ample rest helps the body in dealing with the infection that may have induced the vomiting.
    1. Follow the prescribed course of medicines: The doctor will generally prescribe a course of medicines, which will involve multiple drugs. Follow the course without deviation to prevent a relapse of the infection.

    What To Feed A Vomiting Toddler?

    When the baby vomits, the nutrients you have just tried to put into his body are all gone. Moreover, he will simply refuse to eat after this unpleasant experience. In such a scenario, how will you make sure he is getting enough energy? Follow these steps on feeding your toddler when he is vomiting:

    1. Stick to water and electrolytes initially: For hours after your little one last puked, give him small amounts of water and electrolyte solution. Do not attempt to feed him solid food any time soon since it can worsen his condition.
    1. Start with liquid diet: Once your baby seems better, you can start feeding him liquid food such as vegetable or chicken stock with added salt and no added condiments. You can also give him rice stock but avoid lentil stock since certain lentils can be hard to digest. Tender coconut water works well as it contains minerals and amino acids.
    1. Give bland solid food: Once he is fit enough to eat solid food, begin by giving him simple and bland foods. You can give him mashed boiled rice with some vegetable or chicken stock. Boiled lentils and vegetables can be good but stick to vegetables easy to chew. Do not give high fiber vegetables such as spinach and beans yet, since he is still recovering. You may blend and strain vegetables to make thin easy-to-digest soups. You can begin giving solid diet eight hours since your little one vomited.
    1. Once recovered, feed normally: Once your baby is responding well to the elementary diet and it has been 24 hours since he vomited, you can introduce him to solid foods. If your toddler consumes milk, you can reintroduce it but along with other food such as plain bread. Start with small quantities of milk of not more than 100ml. Once everything seems fine, let your toddler have regular food that he always used to eat.

    Remember, your toddler can speak a lot of basic phrases, therefore, he will let you know when he is hungry and wants regular solid food. Do not force him to eat something or overwhelm him with food right after he has recovered. Giving some extra time for his body to get back on track will help prevent another round of vomiting.

    Vomiting in toddlers can be a nasty thing but is generally a symptom of a health problem. Treating the condition can help your bundle of joy recover faster.

    We hope you found this information useful. You can share your experiences with toddlers and vomiting by leaving us a comment below.

    Recommended Articles

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    • Acid Reflux In Toddlers
    • Cold In Toddlers
    • Importance Of Hygiene For Toddlers/Preschoolers

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