Generally, people tend to avoid talking about vomiting because it is disgusting to talk about the event in which you forcefully discharging the contents of your stomach through your mouth.
This is probably the last topic anyone would like to read about, but this article is aimed at helping you fully understand not only why you vomit but also the cause of throat burning after vomiting. Stay tuned as we try to solve the long-pondered mystery of why you get a sore throat after vomiting, how to recover from it and avoid it in the near future.
This article will also discuss the mechanism of vomiting and the factor that cause it. So get ready for some super queasy discussions on puking.
What is Vomit?
Vomit is the (mostly) involuntary forceful expulsion of matter from the stomach through the mouth and, at times, the nose. It goes by various names or phrases such as puke, emesis, barfing, purge, upchuck, throwing up, spew, hurl, chuck up, heave, retch, ‘do the Technicolor yawn’, ‘shoot the cat’, ‘toss one’s cookies’, and even ‘pray to the porcelain god’ (seriously).
Vomiting is not to be confused with regurgitation, which is the process of bringing back undigested food up the oesophagus to the mouth (like cows do it). While regurgitation is a voluntary process, vomiting is mostly involuntary.
People tend to confuse vomiting with another word: ‘nausea’. Nausea is an unpleasant feeling of sickness and discomfort which may, in turn, lead to or make a person feel the urge to vomit. The purpose of experiencing nausea is so that the person stops eliciting the particular behaviour which induced it in the first place.
The Vomiting centres
The Chemoreceptor Trigger Zone or CTZ controls the vomiting reflex in our body. It is an area of the brain called the Area Postrema. The CTZ is located outside the blood-brain barrier.
The following areas stimulate the CTZ and cause vomiting:
- Vomiting (de la motion sickness) is triggered by the vestibular system of the inner ear. The vestibular system helps us maintain balance and awareness of our spatial orientation.
- Dopamine receptors may also trigger vomiting in response to stress.
- The vagus nerve triggers vomiting (induced by gastroenteritis and gag reflex).
The three phases of vomiting
Vomiting is a step-by-step process, we do not just throw up; it is a systematic and sequential process.
Phase 1: Nausea, sweating and salivation
The first symptom to appear is the feeling of nausea. This is followed by the parasympathetic nervous system causing excessive salivation to prevent tooth decay due to stomach acids in vomit, and the sympathetic nervous system stimulating sweat and increased heart rate.
Phase 2: Retching
Also known as ‘Dry heaving’, it is a series of violent spasmodic abdomino-thoracic contractions with the glottis closed. In other words, it refers to the act of trying to throw up but not being able to, so the body tries to force out the vomit by repeating certain sounds and movements of vomiting.
Phase 3: Expulsion of gastric contents through the mouth
It is a two-step process:
- Inhaling air lowers the thoracic pressure, and the abdominal muscles contract and lower oesophagal sphincter contract, thus building up pressure within the abdominal cavity.
- The intestines undergo negative peristalsis and the gastric content reaches the lower oesophagal The sphincter opens, thus releasing pressure and, propelling the content out of the mouth through a relaxed oesophagus.
What causes vomit?
Vomiting may be caused by the following factors:
- Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
- Food poisoning
- Infections (associated with bacterial and viral illnesses)
- Motion sickness
- Pregnancy-related morning sickness (during the first trimester)
- Intense pain
- Gallbladder disease
- A side effect to few smells or odours
- Heart attack
- Concussion or brain injury
- Brain tumour
- Some forms of cancer
- Bulimia or other psychological illnesses
- Ingestion of toxins or excessive amounts of alcohol
- Prescription medications
- Acid reflux
- Crohn’s disease
Reason of sore throat after vomiting?
Generally, food travels via the throat, or more specifically the oesophagus, to the stomach where it is digested by acidic gastric juices hence throat hurting after throwing up is common. The gastric juices contain Hydrochloric acid and the inner walls of the stomach are protected against the acid.
But when you throw up, you do not just bring out the food, you sent in the first place, but also the acidic gastric juices that got mixed with the food. Unlike the inner walls of the stomach, the inner walls of the oesophagus are not gastric acid-proof, hence resulting in the throat ‘burning’.
One such chronic condition is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipelining, originating behind your breastbone, sometimes travelling up into your throat. This is a serious condition that could even lead to oesophagal rupture, characterized by:
- Moderate or severe chest pain that may worsen upon breathing or swallowing following an episode of retching or vomiting
- Rapid, shallow breathing, difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
- Excessive sweating
- Subcutaneous emphysema
- Abdominal or back pain
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Nausea or vomiting, sometimes with blood
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Rapid heart rate
How to make throat stop burning after throwing up
Remedies to stop sore throat after throwing up includes:
- Drinking water and gurgling with water or baking soda solution after throwing up, to neutralize acidity.
- Throat lozenges and throat sprays available for the very reason.
- Drinking cool fluids to soothe the throat.
- Gargling twice a day with aloe vera juice, salt-in-warm-water, warm lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar and honey solution.
- Sipping cinnamon tea.
- Using a humidifier while sleeping; it adds moisture to air which will help alleviate sore throat post vomiting.
- Applying a mixture of fluid of mango bark, garlic oil, sage oil or thyme oilto the throat.