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How to Induce Vomiting and What are the Risks Associated with Inducing Vomiting?

Vomiting is a natural way of letting out foreign bodies, poison, or drugs for the body’s defense. Sometimes vomiting is induced to get relief from nausea from illness, substance abuse, or overeating. The doctor also advises a person to throw up, in case of swallowing a potentially dangerous substance.

Inducing vomiting carries risks. It may not be safe to induce vomiting to prevent or treat poisoning.

Vomiting is induced in children when they swallow something poisonous. Instead of giving them ipecac syrup, a doctor should be consulted. Research shows, vomiting delays or reduces the effectiveness of treatment.(1) Also, inducing vomiting after poisoning can increase the risk of complications.

How to Induce Vomiting?

How to Induce Vomiting?

Vomiting can be induced by triggering a gag reflex using fingers or another object.(2) Inserting the index and middle finger into the throat triggers the gag reflex and that is followed by vomiting.

Drinking water before vomiting can be helpful in preventing tooth damage that is associated with vomiting.(3) One should also rinse and gargle post vomiting. Also, one should not induce vomiting unless told by the doctor as it can lead to dangerous and serious side effects.

When Should You Induce Vomiting?

There are numerous reasons behind inducing vomiting. The common ones include:

  • Consuming the harmful and poisonous product
  • Feeling sick and nauseous
  • To come over the feeling of shame, guilt, self-loathing after eating excess food

Self-induced vomiting had many risks associated with this. Therefore, a person should not induce vomiting unless directed by a doctor.(3)

Risks Associated with Inducing Vomiting

Vomiting carries risk. It is not a treatment for a person feeling nauseated, having a fuller stomach, or one who is poisoned. Vomiting does not empty the stomach nor does it remove the poison from the stomach fully. Using ipecac, a common remedy used for inducing vomiting, can reduce the effectiveness of other drugs such as activated charcoal and may delay the treatment.(1) Ipecac syrup can be effective in some cases of poisoning but should not be consumed without a doctor’s advice.(4) Certain emetic drugs that are used to induce vomiting, maybe poisonous too, such as sodium chloride can lead to electrolyte imbalance dangerously.

Risks associated with vomiting include the following:

  • Malnourishment
  • Dehydration
  • Injury to throat or esophagus
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Damage to teeth and gums
  • Pancreatitis

Remedies for Nausea

Nausea can make a person tempted to throw up, which can do more harm than good. Following remedies can be tried to reduce nausea.

  • Deep Breathing: Rest in a quiet place and breath for 5-10 seconds and keep on doing this until nausea subsides.
  • Eat Light: Take small snacks or bites of something bland to soothe an upset stomach.
  • Apply Pressure On The Wrist: There are certain pressure points on the wrist that can help in relieving nausea.
  • Cooldown: Lowering the body temperature can help in easing nausea. For this, you can place a cold pack on the forehead or just sit under a fan.

Help for Eating Disorder

If a person induces vomiting to lose weight or control eating, it is important to seek help from a doctor. Eating disorders can be harmful to physical and mental health.

There are various nonprofit organizations, online treatment communities, and psychiatrists, that can be taken to help overcome eating disorders.

How to Take Care of Someone who is Poisoned?

If someone has swallowed poison, instead of self-treatment, emergency help should be taken. All the details of the person should be kept in hand such as:

  • Age of the person
  • Height and weight
  • What poison has been ingested
  • Signs and symptoms experienced by a person
  • Amount of poison that has been consumed

The appropriate information can be extremely helpful to the doctor in giving appropriate treatment.

There is no medical reason for which inducing vomiting is suggested without a doctor’s guidance. It can be dangerous as it can worsen the underlying condition or effect of poisoning. It is important to consult a doctor as he can recommend the best to be done in a particular situation.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 3, 2022

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