What Happens To Your Body When You Throw Up?

January 24, 2018


What Happens To Your Body When You Throw Up?

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You just threw up after having a big meal, which might be the signal that you’re suffering an eating disorder. Well, the chance of this case is quite rare, but be careful since it can happen! On top of that, you’ll wonder what happens to your body when you throw up and what sorts of options that can make your situation better.

Let’s our article help you find the best answer to those questions!

How Does Throwing Up Occur?

You might know, throwing up is an unnatural discharge of belly contents, which is known as the one-time happening connected to something that can’t settle correctly in the stomach. If throwing up re-happens, then it is triggered under some medical conditions. And when it takes place more frequently, it easily leads the body to dehydration.

Besides, throwing up is one of the most common disorders everyone has to go through in life, especially when someone suddenly consumes too much food or just has higher alcohol content. For those who misunderstand that throwing up itself is a condition, it’s indeed a symptom of other conditions. And a few of them are known as [1]:

  • Indigestion
  • Anesthesia
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Early stages of pregnancy
  • Seasickness
  • Medication-induced vomiting
  • Overeating
  • Reaction to a strange odor/smell
  • Tumor
  • Cancer
  • Heart attack

In case you don’t know, nausea is the discomfort of your tummy that usually arrives before throwing up. The reason why you want to throw up varies by age. For example, when you were a child, it’s pretty common for throwing up to happen from milk allergy, overeating, or any disease in which your baby has a high temperature [2].

Eating bad foods
Eating bad foods is a major cause of throwing up

In addition, the major cause of throwing up can be pointed out by determining when and how long it happens. For example, after having a big meal, it is probably triggered by food poisoning or the inflammation of the belly’s protective lining. If it lasts from 1 to 8 hours after a diet, then you can suppose it as the result of food poisoning.

How Does Throwing Up Work?

Before showing you what happens to your body when you throw up, it would be better if you clearly understand how your body stimulates throwing up, as well as how it signals you that your throwing up is coming.

What’s the Mechanism of Throwing Up?

Before going to the detail about the throwing up mechanism, we’d like to offer you a video for a vivid visualization, showing how humans throw up:

At the base of your brain, there is a vomiting center called Chemoreceptor Trigger Zone that manages reflex and lies out of your blood-brain barrier. For this reason, some specific medications or natural treatments can affect to this center to either STOP THROWING UP AFTER DRINKING or MAKE THROWING UP OCCUR.

Besides, different areas of our body parts can drive such CTZ to trigger or eliminate nausea. The mechanism is like this:

  • The inner ear’s sensory system motivates throwing up by motion sickness.
  • The pneumogastric nerve runs from the brainstem to the stomach, causing throwing up induced by stomach flu, or whenever the back of throat feels annoyed.
  • Dopamine receptors or neurotransmitters are once activated by anxiety; you’re prone to vomiting.

And guess what? Your brain’s CTZ is the one spotting those chemicals and hormones, while your upset stomach is verified by the vagus nerve.

How Could You Sense Nausea Occurs?

There are two major centers inside our brains, which can cause nausea symptoms. The first center is what I just mentioned above – the CTZ which reacts to any chemical input. Moreover, when feeling seasickness, you’ve just gone through a reaction inside the postrema – the second center I want to tell you right now!

This takes place because of the pressure and some equilibrium changes that could make you lose balance. Furthermore, any responding in the CTZ are said to cause throwing up easily following nausea, when your body senses a toxic chemical presented in the digestive system [3].

Well, as you see, vomiting itself is not a disease, but only the way of removing potentially harmful substances, or probably a responding to something annoying your belly. In all cases, THROWING UP FOAM is not as serious as we thought, but how about THROWING UP BILE, or when you release yellow or green vomit? This usually happens due to your empty tummy or bile reflux.

What Happens To Your Body When You Throw Up?

So, what happens to your body when you throw up? That might also be answered by understanding a sequence of actions occurring and a great variety of threats coming up. These normally take the form of stress hormones or toxic substances right in your blood. First, let’s kick off with your throat to find out what happens to your body when you throw up:

Your Throat Feels Burning

Some people threw up and suddenly suffered a burning feeling right in their throat. Someone might tell them to drink something to cool it down, but is that effective? You can find out the answer through HOW TO MAKE THROAT STOP BURNING AFTER THROWING UP.

Your Body Suffers Weakness and Fatigue

burn throat
Burn throat caused by throwing up

Your bingeing could finally affect your digestive system, and its effects can lead you to the whole weakness and even fatigue. They’re from the sore throat, tummy pain, or both of them, which are seen as the first physical side effects of throwing up. Once this eating disorder advances, it would trigger a bunch of symptoms in your digestive tract, starting right at the mouth.

Particularly as the time passes by, the high content of your acidic vomit can even ruin your teeth and lead to enamel erosion and gum issues. After that, you might see puffy cheeks or jaws that appear clear.

Your Saliva Is Released from Your Mouth

It happens when your mouth starts releasing additional saliva all of a sudden. This is considered as alkaline, creating a gender buffer to guard both mouth and teeth against the tummy acid coming up.

As you know, vomiting is seen as a deliberate and natural reaction by your body that develops as a purging mechanism to get rid of toxins from your tummy. However, because the contents inside your stomach are quite acidic, throwing up can be bad for the throat and teeth. Luckily, when saliva is released, it helps to reduce that by diluting.

Your Diaphragm Contracts in Some Brief Pulses

Taking a deep breath is the first and best activity to dodge vomiting in the lungs, and then your diaphragm will contract some short pulses, clenching your belly to build pressure. During throwing-up act, your diaphragm and inspiratory muscles will co-contract with your abs muscles in a sequence of bursts of activity that peaks in expulsion.

Your Airway Gets Sealed Once Your Glottis Shuts Down

If anyone asks you what happens to your body when you throw up, answer this: “Your glottis shuts down and causes the airway to be sealed.” It also means nothing can get in or leave your lungs. Note that any diaphragm contraction without throwing up can lead to dry heaving symptoms.

Your Abdomen Contraction for Pressure Increase

By increasing more pressure, your abs muscles are likely to contract more and your pyloric sphincter lying at the base of your belly is shut down. This means the sole way out is going upwards. Your vomiting act contains two different phases.

For the retching period, your abs muscles will have to go through some rounds of coordinated abs contractions along with your diaphragm as well as muscled in the respiratory inhalation. For the reason, a person might get confused with the hiccups. In the coming phase, high pressure will be created in your belly, which is brought by huge shifts in your abdomen and diaphragm.

Your Sweat Is Released as Your Heart Rate Increases


sweat when throwing up
You might sweat a lot when throwing up

The heart rate can be increased due to your nervous system, making you sweat a lot throughout the entire body. This reaction takes place to shed the heat from this surprising happening.

You’re Dehydrated

What happens to your body when you throw up as often? Repeated purging will cause you to get dehydrated, which also weakens your muscles and leads you to the extreme tiredness. Furthermore, it will make your electrolytes lose all balance and suddenly puts force on the heart.

Such a happening lead to your irregular heartbeat, and even in some serious situations, a weakened heart. Besides, the electrolytes that have to be missed from continuous throwing up would be magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Worse than that, it could make you suffer low blood pressure and anemia.

Your Health is Affected Mentally

Throwing up can potentially lead to a cycle of health concerns. You might go through depression and anxiety. At this point, what happens to your body when you throw up is both moodiness and irritability due to the shortage of vitamins or manners coming along with throwing up.

For instance, continuous observation of food and weight can turn into an obsession. To gain their perfect weight, there are some people engaging in substance abuse.

You’re Led to Hormonal Imbalance

If you’ve got nutritional deficiencies, it’s easier to suffer a hormonal imbalance. Guess what? The fatigue could destroy your sex drive. Moreover, it will interrupt your menstrual cycle or pause it together.

In case that ovaries can’t release any egg, it’s just impossible for the sperms to have it fertilized. And pregnant women who keep bingeing and purging are likely to confront more complications for themselves and their babies.

Your Hair Gets Drier and Frizzier

Your hair, skin, and nails inside the integumentary system of your body can’t immune to all of the effects of your vomiting act. If you suffer great dehydration after throwing up so many times, it means that your body does not have enough water. As a result, your hair tends to become drier and frizzier than before, while the nails become more brittle.


Apart from above body responses, you can take a look at other what happens to your body when you throw up:

  • Breathing is stimulated.
  • Blood pressure rises.
  • Heart rate and pulse rise.
  • Glucose and fatty acids for tissue fuel in blood increases.
  • Blood supply to the intestine and skin decreases in volume.
  • Muscle activities are enhanced.

What Does Throwing Up Reveal?

The color of the content of your vomitus reveals something useful and interesting. Do you want to know? Here is the basic information on each of your vomitus:

  • When throwing up, it releases the matter of your tummy. At this time, your vomitus’ pH is quite acidic. This acid builds up a burning sensation in the back of your throat or the germ of your mouth when your vomit goes through the nose.
  • Throwing up after having a meal always produces the belly’s contents or the ones which are not digested yet. Based on the time of your meal and the break between them, the contents and level of digestion are just different.
  • Vomitus is sometimes produced with blood when it’s in the red and brown shade. This is also known as blood throwing up. How come? That shows up red and comes from the Upper GI tract. But the blood from the lower GI tract often suffers oxidation so that it often shows up brown in the shade. If the blood appears clotted, then it is often seen due to a perforated ulcer.
  • Greenish vomitus can be a signal of the stored bile inside. If you suffer serious throwing up, this green vomitus often comes out.
  • If your intestine is obstructed, there would be the fecal content contained in your vomitus. This indicates a severe medical condition, which requires the instant medical care and even surgery [4].

How Much Food Comes Up When Throwing Up

Many people try to get the answer to this question “DOES THROWING UP HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?” And a lot of them assume that it can lose weight. Well, sorry, that’s not true at all! The reality you must face here is different: throwing up won’t give you a chance to shed more pounds, but that, as the time passes by, could make you gain more weight. What a shocking fact, I know!


food coming out when throwing-up
Can you guest how much food will come out when you throw up?

According to a study, eighteen bulimic people participate in an experiment where they have to binge and throw up. The calories consumed by them were monitored closely. After that, the number of calories vomited were calculated and then compared to the consumed amount. They found that the average food comprised 2131 calories, while they just vomit 979 calories [5].

From this study, do you think what happens to your body when you throw up? Can your body get in shape? We see that most of us thought that we could throw up all of what we consumed, the chances are that our bodies will store at least fifty percent of the calories consumed. Not only this research but also many others apparently proved that every method of vomiting is not effective at reducing calories from our bodies.

Seven Facts You Might Not Know About Throwing Up

DOES SALT WATER MAKE YOU THROW UP? You might know the answer before, but what about other facts that you might never know about throwing up? Surprisingly, you might encounter these things a few times, but hardly ever noticed them.

Here are a few fascinating facts that will amaze you:

Not Often a Tummy Virus

In kids, throwing up is a symptom of a migraine, according to Lynn Lillie – a family physician and member of the American of Family Physicians board of directors. It can be seen as a sign of acid reflux while in mature ones, throwing up all of a sudden reveals an intestinal obstruction. If this issue can’t get any better after two days, contact your doctor.

Not Often a Bad Thing

Vomiting or nausea within the early trimester would tell you that you’re a healthily pregnant woman and have a lower chance of miscarriage. For those who are not pregnant, vomiting is a common way to remove the infection from your system.

Vomitus Color Is Important

If your vomitus appears black or red, it probably means that you’re vomiting blood, so make sure to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.

There’s a Throwing-Up Machine

By understanding what happens to your body when you throw up, researchers at North Carolina State University had successfully made a machine that can trigger throwing up to help them examine more of the virus causing this condition and diarrhea. The machine is stated to assist the scientists in deciding how the virus gets transmitted.

It’s Like a Parmesan Cheese

Through a study at Brown University, those who were provided with a smell made by a chemical mixture and then exposed that it was Parmesan cheese. And they liked it, of course! The similar smell was also given to them, and they were told that it was vomitus, they felt the smell totally annoying. So, the context has many things to do with the way people perceive things.

You’ve Got a Phobia

Anyone who has the emetophobia probably experiences paralyzing anxiety about his or her body. You’ll be feeling sick or watching somebody else throwing up can lead to a panic attack, and the cure for it is hard and time-consuming.

Throwing Up Could Back Up When It’s Associated with Acid Reflux

If you’ve already suffered some issues related to acid reflux, this could back up and make you feel sick or start vomiting. To deal with this sort of acid reflux, particularly when you’re pregnant, there’s always a way: Try to have smaller meals and your acid reflux will automatically go away once your baby was born.

It’s Possibly Fatal

Throwing up can be healed by drinking pure fluids and resting. But if you keep vomiting again and again, you might be dehydrated. And when you’ve been in such terrible condition over 5 hours, you might need urgent care [6].


After you spare a little time reading our article, we’re sure that you’ve already known what happens to your body when you throw up, right? There are a lot of things going on, but don’t worry because we have numerous helpful posts about throwing up that you would love to discover.

As always, leave your comment below if you have any questions, we are pleased to help! If you find this post helpful, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE it!

Thank you!

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