Vomit

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Vomiting, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (14th century)

Vomiting, also called puking, is emptying the contents of stomach through mouth. It can be either food or liquid in the stomach. It can be from infection, contaminated food or drink (food poisoning), foul smells or foul-tasting food, the brain being injured, a block in the small intestines so food and liquid cannot go through, too much alcohol or other drugs. Also, people can make themselves vomit (self-induced) which is called purging. Usually people who have eaten or drunk poison are made to vomit any residual (leftover) poison off. Excessive vomiting may lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous, if not fatal as it will shut down a person's organs and twist the intestines.

Color of vomit
  • Bright red in the vomit suggests bleeding from the esophagus.
  • Dark red vomit with liver-like clots suggests bleeding in the stomach, such as from a perforated ulcer
  • Coffee-ground-like vomit suggests less severe bleeding in the stomach, because the gastric acid has had time to change the composition of the blood
  • Yellow vomit suggests bile, indicating that the pyloric valve is open and bile is flowing into the stomach from the duodenum (this is more common in older people)

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