After a day of hectic work, vomiting can drain out all of the little energy left behind. On top of it, vomiting every night can be a very unpleasant experience. If you have been experiencing vomiting every night, you should know you are not alone in it.
So, pondering over the possible causes of vomiting every night?
GERD, peptic ulcer disease, stomach flu, medicine side effects, gastroparesis, pregnancy, cyclic vomiting, anxiety disorder, asthma, food allergies, cancers, and several other conditions may cause vomiting every night.
If you are still confused, it’s alright because we have discussed them in this article. Read along to clear your doubts!
Table of Content
Vomiting Every Night: Possible Causes
Vomiting every night can be a very unpleasant and exhausting experience.
It is a not-so-common experience and can indicate some underlying conditions. However, often, it is not due to a severe medical condition.
Whatever the reason, a proper understanding of the problem and the appropriate treatment can help get rid of your issues. Read along to know the possible causes.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the acidic contents from your stomach flow back into the food pipe. The stomach acid can gradually cause damage to your esophagus(food pipe) and lead to other complications.
GERD is a chronic condition. Eating food that triggers your GERD symptoms in the late hours of the night can make you throw up.
Some form of defect in your lower esophageal sphincter muscle can be a cause of GERD. This ring-shaped muscle lies between the lower end of your esophagus and the opening of the stomach.
The defect can make the sphincter muscle weak or cause it to remain open more frequently, thereby causing more frequent episodes of acid reflux.
Symptoms of acid reflux in addition to vomiting include-
- Burning sensation in the chest
- Chest pain
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Burning sensation in the abdomen
- Bad breath
- Dental erosion
Most cases of acid reflux are firstly treated with over-the-counter medications such as antacids (Mylanta, Tums), H2 receptor blockers (famotidine, nizatidine), and proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, lansoprazole).
Contact your doctor if over-the-counter medicines cannot manage your acid reflux symptoms. Your doctor can suggest appropriate prescription medicines or surgical procedures to help you treat your condition.
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is a digestive system condition in which open sores form in the lining of the stomach or lower end of the food pipe. Stomach acid and pepsin are often responsible for the formation of sores.
Peptic ulcer disease can also be a possible cause of nighttime vomiting. Eating certain food, including fried snacks, can trigger vomiting as well as other symptoms of peptic ulcers.
Some factors that lead to peptic ulcers are-
- Infection in the digestive tract by bacterium Helicobacter pylori
- Excess use of anti-inflammatory drugs or other medicines
Prolonged stress, high consumption of alcohol or caffeine, and having a family history of peptic ulcers also increase the odds of you getting it.
Take a look at the peptic ulcer disease symptoms other than vomiting:
- Stomach pain
- Feeling full
- Burning sensation in the lower abdomen
- Fatty food intolerance
Antibiotics are required to clear up bacterial infections that lead to peptic ulcers.
In addition, medicines such as proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers can help reduce the production of acid in the stomach, thereby promoting the healing of ulcers.
Moreover, antacids are used to minimize the symptoms of peptic ulcers by neutralizing the stomach’s acidity. Also, prescription medicines such as Carafate and Cytotec can be used to protect the lining of the stomach and intestines.
Stomach flu is a type of infection caused by viruses such as rotavirus or norovirus affecting the gastrointestinal tract.
You can get stomach flu if you have consumed contaminated food or water or have been in close contact with an infected person.
Stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis can cause the following conditions along with vomiting:
- Stomach pain
For most people, stomach flu gets cleared up within about a week. Contact your doctor if your symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea, do not ease even after 3 days.
Most cases of viral gastroenteritis do not need any complex treatment options. They go away on their own after a few days. Some changes in food habits such as avoiding solid foods, fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods can help you get better quickly.
Additionally, it is essential to stay hydrated while you are sick. Drink plenty of water and other hydrating foods such as soups and clear broths to get better from a case of stomach flu.
Many patients take anti-diarrhea medications to help them get relief from stomach flu symptoms like diarrhea.
Another possible cause of vomiting every night is gastroparesis. This is a digestive disease in which the stomach gets incapable of emptying it’s contents properly.
It can be caused by reasons such as damage to the vagus nerve. This nerve signals your stomach muscles to contract and ensures the movement of food further along the digestive tract.
Diseases such as diabetes, scleroderma, thyroidism, or any surgical procedures can sometimes damage the vagus nerve.
Other symptoms of gastroparesis may be-
- Acid reflux
- Abdominal bloating
- Pain in abdomen
- Changes in blood glucose level
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
Contact your doctor if you suffer from vomiting every night along with these symptoms.
Your treatment plan for gastroparesis will depend upon the underlying cause which may be diabetes or other nervous system disorders.
Since gastroparesis hampers your digestion process, certain changes to your diet can help you to get the proper amounts of nutrients from your food. A few suggestions are mentioned below.
- Chew your food properly
- Avoid raw food and food with high fiber content
- Eat small portions of a meal at a time
- Avoid carbonated drinks and alcohol
- Drink adequate amounts of water
- Go for a walk after your meals
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
Cyclic vomiting syndrome can be seen in both adults and children—people with this syndrome experience alternate episodes of vomiting.
The vomiting events may last for a few hours or even days. The vomiting periods alternate with symptom-free phases.
Other symptoms of cyclic vomiting include-
- Abdominal pain
Cyclic vomiting syndrome can be triggered by certain foods or other factors such as stress, exhaustion, and allergic conditions.
Anti-vomiting medicines are often used to ease symptoms of cyclic vomiting syndrome.
Furthermore, your doctor may prescribe you other medicines such as pain relievers, anticonvulsants, or antidepressants to treat symptoms of cyclic vomiting, depending on your trigger factor.
For some people with migraine or a family history of migraine, medications used to treat migraine also helps.
Almost everyone feels anxious or stressed at some time or another. Moderate amounts of stress and anxiety are not found to be harmful. However, prolonged stressful conditions can cause several medical issues.
Anxiety disorders tend to get worse at night because most people have fewer distractions at night time.
You are most likely to get occupied by your worries and problems at night, unlike during the day. This can trigger your gastrointestinal issues and cause vomiting at night.
Some symptoms of anxiety are-
- Rapid heartbeat
- Panic attacks
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Inability to fall asleep
Anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed for people with anxiety disorders. Additionally, psychological counseling can help patients overcome their fears and help them focus on the positive aspects of life.
A popular and effective form of psychological counseling against anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Ask your doctor to learn more about it.
Asthma is a respiratory disorder causing inflammation of the airways that allow air to pass to the lungs.
Your asthma symptoms can get flared up at night, leading to excessive coughing and eventually vomiting.
You might as well experience the symptoms below if you have asthma-
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble sleeping
After assessing your asthma symptoms, your doctor may prescribe you bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory medicines, or anticholinergic medicines.
A common symptom of pregnancy is nausea or vomiting. It is more commonly known as morning sickness. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, including nighttime.
Mostly, pregnant people experience morning sickness during their first trimester due to changes in hormone levels. Most cases of morning sickness tend to go away by the end of 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Other common symptoms of pregnancy are-
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Missed period
- Darker areolas
- Increased urination
- Food aversions
If you are pregnant and experiencing vomiting every night, consult your doctor. Your doctor can help you ease your symptoms and ensure a healthy pregnancy.
You can be sensitive towards certain foods. Typical food that can trigger allergic symptoms and vomiting are dairy products, wheat, meat, nuts, and eggs.
Allergic symptoms of food allergy include-
- Itching in the mouth area
- Swelling of the lips
- Breathing problems
If you eat a particular food at dinner and have been throwing up at night every day, making changes to your dinner menu may help you identify the food items you are allergic to.
Medication Side Effects
Nausea and sometimes vomiting can be the side effects of several different medicines. Some include-
- Pain killers
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood pressure medicines
- Allergy medicines
If you have started taking a new medicine and have been throwing up every night recently, inform your doctor about it. Your doctor can adjust your medications accordingly.
In addition, powerful drug treatments such as chemotherapy used to treat several types of cancers can also cause frequent vomiting.
The side effects of the drugs usually wane off once you stop taking the medications. Consult your doctor before you stop taking any medicines.
Some forms of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, or other organs can result in nausea and vomiting. However, it is not a very common cause of vomiting at night. Moreover, malignant tumors in the brain can also supposedly cause vomiting every night.
If you have been vomiting every night and feeling unusually tired, book an appointment with your doctor to be on the safer side.
Many other diseases can also cause vomiting every night. Some include-
Median arcuate ligament syndrome
You will need a medical check-up to know the exact causative factor for your frequent vomiting. Knowing the causative factor will help you properly manage your disease.
Remedies: For Vomiting
Fortunately, there are many well-known and effective home remedies that can help stop vomiting. For your convenience, a few are mentioned below-
- Activated charcoal
- Ginger tea
- Mint tea
- Fennel tea
- Clove tea
- Essential oils
- Deep breathing
- Wrist acupressure
- Avoid fried foods, citrus fruits, fatty foods, and dairy products. These foods can trigger symptoms of different digestive problems.
- Avoid going to bed immediately after your meal. Lying down immediately after meals can sometimes make you feel nauseous.
- Do not exercise after eating. Exercising right after meals can make you feel sick.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase the possibility of developing a vast range of health issues.
- Avoid overeating. Overeating is harmful to your digestive system. It can cause vomiting, inability to sleep, and other problems.
Question: When should you be concerned about vomiting?
Answer: If your vomiting has continued for more than 2-3 days, contact your healthcare provider.
Question: Can you brush your teeth right after vomiting?
Answer: It is better to brush at least 30-45 minutes after vomiting as your vomit contains acidic contents, which are harmful to your teeth.
Question: Does vomiting blood indicate cancer?
Answer: Blood in vomit does not always indicate cancer. Sometimes it can be due to digestive system disorders such as ulcers or inflammatory diseases. Contact your doctor to diagnose the precise cause of the problem.
Vomiting every night can be due to many different underlying medical reasons. A medical diagnosis is necessary to know the particular cause. Fortunately, most of the conditions causing vomiting are very much treatable.
Contact your doctor if you have been throwing up every night. Proper treatment and self-care remedies will help you recover quickly.