9 Reasons Why You Are Shaking and Vomiting

You may have had sick days in your life when you found yourself trembling and puking all over the washroom, haven’t you? Did this ever occur to you that it was not simply and solely because of indigestion since you ate too much?

So, this brings onto the question of why you are shaking and throwing up.

You may experience symptoms like trembling, nausea, vomiting when you have certain clinical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Anxiety disorder etc and for ailments like Food poisoning, heat exhaustion, gastroenteritis etc. These conditions may not be entirely linked to one another but their signs and symptoms are somewhat similar. 

Therefore, read till the end to know what exactly caused you to vomit and tremble and how to manage them through treatment.

What Are The Causes of Shaking and Throwing Up?

Vomiting and trembling- even though these two different symptoms are unrelated to one another, you may experience them consequently considering their clinical origin. It might be because of indigestion or because of a neurological disease you have. Here are some of the possible causes.

shaking-and-throwing-up

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, commonly known as low blood sugar, is a condition in which a person’s glucose level can drop to an extremely low level. This can occur when you are starving yourself for hours or not eating enough despite engaging in strenuous physical activities. 

People with diseases like Diabetes, Cushing syndrome, pancreatitis etc may also become hypoglycemic. 

If your sugar level drops, you will also have other symptoms like palpitation, nervousness, sweating etc along with trembling and puking. 

To resuscitate a person who suddenly becomes hypoglycemic, you need to take immediate action otherwise the person may slip into a coma or even death! Feeding them table sugar, sweets, Soda, Glucose drinks will boost their sugar level to a normal range within a short time.

hypoglycemia

Food Poisoning 

I bet there isn’t anybody who has not experienced this gruesome problem at least once in their life! It is caused by ingestion of food or drinks contaminated with living bacteria, inorganic chemical substances or toxins produced from certain bacterias. 

Some of the pathogens that cause food poisoning are E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens etc. Food poisoning occurring as a result of infection of some bacteria and parasites can be life-threatening. Serious, untreated cases may even lead to death! 

Other symptoms of food poisoning are abdominal pain, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, trembling etc. 

Treatment of food poisoning will depend on the causative agent of food poisoning. Keeping yourself hydrated, having nutritious food that is easy to digest and taking proper medicines to minimize the symptoms will be good enough to cure food poisoning. 

Gastroenteritis

The inflammation or irritation of the inner lining of the intestines is called gastroenteritis. It is primarily caused due to viral agents called Rotavirus, norovirus etc and some bacterias such as E. coli, Salmonella etc. This may also spread from one person to another through contaminated food and water, or by direct contact with somebody with the virus. 

The symptoms associated with gastroenteritis are nausea, vomiting, cramping, fever, bellyache and watery diarrhoea. Children can get dehydrated if they have the stomach flu. 

For treatment, the patient needs to be kept fully hydrated and provided with fluids and food to replenish the lost electrolytes from the system. 

gastroenteritis

Anybody can develop this disease anytime, however, students in hostels, military camps, prisons, nursing homes, overcrowded hospital wards and ship passengers, basically anywhere with overcrowded accommodation or having shared living space are at a higher risk.  

Heat Exhaustion 

Heat exhaustion happens when your body is exposed to any hot environment for a certain interval and your body is unable to cool down.

Some prominent causes why you can have this heat-related illness is inadequate air circulation, when you exercise too much and when you’ve been staying in scorching heat for a prolonged time. Dehydration may also lead to heat exhaustion because your body loses fluid and electrolytes when you aren’t drinking much water after strenuous physical activities.

Individuals having heat exhaustion tend to have symptoms like profuse sweating, muscle cramps, vomiting, weakness, lightheadedness, cold-clammy skin, confusion etc. Drinking liquid, resting under shade and a well ventilated cool place will improve the condition. 

Another illness called heat stroke may occur to people with heat exhaustion if left untreated. One important thing to be noted is that heavy clothing should be avoided, especially during hot, humid days. 

Meningitis

The inflammation of the protective fluids surrounding your brain and spinal cord is called meningitis. Pathogens like viruses, fungus and bacteria can cause this disease to develop. Most cases heal within a few days while other types can be life endangering.

Possible symptoms of meningitis are:

  • Sudden fever
  • Nause
  • Vomiting 
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to stimuli like light and touch
  • Headache 
  • Stiff neck
  • Chills
  • Irritability 

Immunocompromised people, old age and overcrowded living are the probable risk factors for meningitis.

Seek medical help when you experience these symptoms. It’s important to know what caused the inflammation, hence diagnosis is inevitable.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

I bet you are familiar with this particular factor. While you are experiencing anxiety, your body goes into a “fight or flight” response which stimulates the secretion of hormones. That is when you feel shaky and uneasy with several unpleasant physical changes.

Anxiety disorders are the type of mental condition that you can not categorize within a few specific symptoms. Tremor, tachycardia, increased heartbeat, nausea, stomach cramping, trembling etc are some common signs of GAD. These may also be found in panic disorders, phobias and other mental disorders similar to GAD.

But don’t freak out! Because all forms of anxiety disorders can be treated with a spectrum of effective methods that include psychotherapy, medications (antidepressants, Benzodiazepines etc), coping methods like meditation and yoga, lifestyle modification to improve the quality of life. 

Parkinson’s Disease 

This is a progressive brain disorder that affects the nervous system making the person lose balance or control of muscular tissue and impairs normal movement of the body. It can be found in people of any age, mostly over 50 years of age, but youngsters are not out of risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Men are more likely to develop the disease than women. The main cause of this condition is the loss of nerve cells in the brain, a part that is known as substantia nigra which ultimately makes your dopamine levels drop. 

The commonest symptoms of this age-related neurodegenerative disease are: 

  • Tremor (rest)
  • stiffness in trunk and limbs
  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Bradykinesia – slow movement
  • rigidity

Along with these significant signs a person may show vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating due to impairment in the movement of the gastrointestinal tract. 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease. Scientists have been working relentlessly for years to obtain a cure and discover ways to prevent this disease. The good thing is that researchers have made incredible progress, with a hope that people with PD can live a fulfilling life.

Dehydration

We have a bad tendency of not drinking adequate water, however, this comes with a cost sometimes. Dehydration is a very common condition where your body doesn’t get the supply of water it requires. Fluid loss through urine, stool, sweat, tears can make you dehydrated. 

Now how will you identify if you are dehydrated? There are times when diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration all occur as a result of one another. You will feel thirsty, you won’t pee enough, your skin will be cool and pale, muscle cramps, headache 

dehydration

Drug Overdose

You know more or less all medicines have a few significant side effects. Hence, a few drugs like antidepressants, painkillers ( ibuprofen), anti-cancer drugs, chemotherapy etc can make you feel pukish and throw up too.

They can also make you shake uncontrollably. Apart from these, illegal drugs like cocaine, opium, heroin may make you vomit and tremble. If you feel like you may have a drug overdose, go to the doctor immediately. Drug-induced tremors are temporary and they go away once you stop the medication. 

As you have read this far you can distinguish that most of these causes can be treated at home. But getting yourself checked up in a hospital is encouraged.

When to Visit The Doctor?

You can manage the symptoms when somebody is shaking and throwing up according to its causative agent. Although you can manage and resolve most of the clinical symptoms by staying at home, some problems might require extensive care in hospitals or by the aid of medical care providers. However, it’s always better to consult with a physician for medical help. Seek their advice if :

  • You have blood in vomit or tarry stool
  • You suddenly feel immense pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting for more than 2 days, accompanied by fever and/or diarrhea
  • You have signs of dehydration
  • You become dizzy, along with a lack of alertness
  • You have trouble swallowing, breathing
  • You have blurry vision

FAQs 

Question: Why do you tremble and vomit?

Answer: You may tremble and vomit when you have food poisoning, hypoglycemia, anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s disease, stomach flu and heat-related illness like heat exhaustion. 

Question: Can stomach problems cause shaking or trembling?

Answer: Yes, stomach problems may induce shaking or trembling. Food poisoning, gastroenteritis, dyspepsia can leave you feeling weak and shaky. 

Question: How do you stop yourself from shaking and vomiting?

Answer: You can apply the following techniques if you want to stop yourself from shaking and throwing up: Drink lots of water, stay in a well-ventilated room, eat a balanced diet, practise breathing exercises, do yoga and meditation, eat in smaller portions rather than binging on heavy meals all day, check the quality of food so that you don’t accidentally eat stale or rotten food. 

Conclusion

Are you convinced of the possible causes why you might be shaking and throwing up? I believe you have an idea now and you know what to do when you deal with the problems. 

Parkinson’s and GAD are lifelong conditions, but they can be kept under control. The rest of the causes will subside within a few days with proper treatment.

Maisha Zarnaz

Maisha Zarnaz

I am Maisha, currently studying for MBBS in Armed Forces Medical College, Dhaka. The advancements in medical science enthrals me a lot, hence I like to read medical blogs and articles and help people with whatever knowledge I have been able to acquire on healthy eating, lifestyle and skin care. I love watching TV series or baking when I'm free and music has always been my passion.

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