What is happening in the body prior to vomiting?

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In summary, vomiting is triggered by a variety of factors such as inflammation in the intestines, an acidic substance from contaminated food, or simply an overwhelming feeling of gas. It is a complex physiological process that involves the stomach, thyroid, and other bodily systems. For more detailed information, the reference "Physiology of Vomiting" can provide further insight into the topic.
  • #1
What happens in your body prior to vomiting? By vomiting I mean after you eat something and you feel this overwhelming feeling of gas running from your stomach up into your thyroid. Is it just inflammation in the intestines that occurs that causes the food to be regurgitated or is there some acidy substance from the contaminated food that gets released into your stomach? I know this is probably a simple question, but I've always wondered what occurs inside your body prior to it happening.
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You may want to peruse this reference, physiology of vomiting :yuck: , for some light reading that addresses your question.
  • #3

Prior to vomiting, there are several physiological changes that occur in the body. These changes are triggered by the brain's vomiting center, which receives signals from various parts of the body including the stomach, intestines, and inner ear.

One of the first changes that occur is an increase in salivation and mucus production. This is the body's way of protecting the esophagus from stomach acid that may come up during vomiting.

Next, the muscles in the stomach and intestines start to contract and relax in a coordinated manner. This is called peristalsis and it helps to move the contents of the stomach and intestines towards the upper digestive tract.

At the same time, the muscles in the diaphragm and abdomen contract, creating pressure in the abdominal cavity. This pressure helps to push the contents of the stomach and intestines upwards.

As the contents of the stomach and intestines move upwards, the lower esophageal sphincter (a muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach) relaxes to allow the contents to pass through. This is why people often feel a burning sensation in their throat when they vomit, as stomach acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus.

In addition to these changes, the brain also sends signals to the salivary glands to stop producing saliva and to the stomach to stop producing gastric juices. This is to prevent further digestion and to protect the body from harmful substances that may be present in the vomit.

So, to answer your question, it is a combination of muscle contractions, pressure changes, and signals from the brain that ultimately lead to vomiting. Inflammation in the intestines or the presence of acidic substances in the stomach due to contaminated food can also contribute to the vomiting reflex.

1. What causes the feeling of nausea?

The feeling of nausea is caused by a variety of factors, such as motion sickness, viral or bacterial infections, food poisoning, and reactions to certain medications or substances. It can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

2. Why does the body produce excess saliva before vomiting?

Before vomiting, the body produces excess saliva as a defense mechanism to protect the teeth and throat from the acidic stomach contents. The saliva helps to neutralize the acid and prevent damage to these sensitive areas.

3. What happens to the muscles in the digestive system during vomiting?

During vomiting, the muscles in the digestive system contract and relax in a coordinated manner to forcefully expel the stomach contents. This includes the diaphragm, abdominal muscles, and the muscles in the esophagus and stomach.

4. How does the body detect and respond to toxins or irritants that cause vomiting?

The body has specialized receptors in the stomach and intestines that can detect toxins or irritants. When these receptors are activated, they send signals to the brain, triggering the vomiting reflex as a protective response to rid the body of the harmful substance.

5. Is vomiting harmful to the body?

In most cases, vomiting is a temporary and natural response to rid the body of harmful substances. However, frequent or severe vomiting can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and other complications. It is important to seek medical attention if vomiting persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

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