Involuntary expulsion of the stomach by the mouth. This is not generally serious unless it is chronic. Vomiting can be accompanied by diarrhorea.
What to look for
The particular worry about these in children is dehydration, which involves not only the loss of water, but also vital body salts called electrolytes. A proper balance between the two is vital for the body's organs to function, and dehydration destroys this balance. Rapid loss of water and salts can become especially dangerous for babies, young children and the elderly and will need prompt medical attention.
Vomiting is not an illness in itself, but can be a sign of many different specific disorders, including infection of the intestine, colds and food intolerances. Vomiting with diarrhoea can sometimes be the result of antibiotic treatment. Diarrhoea alone may be caused by any of these, plus worms, or inappropriate dietary intake. Ear infections may be the cause of vomiting only, as may disorders affecting the balancing function of the inner ear.
A therapist may recommend resting the digestive system, taking only liquid and no food for a while. For children, but not babies, astringent herbal teas such as peppermint and blackberry may help to shorten the recovery time.
When to seek further professional advice
Call a doctor urgently if an infant shows symptoms of dehydration, including a sunken fontanels (a soft spot on the front and top back of the skull), unresponsiveness, drowsiness, prolonged crying, glazed eyes, loose skin- as well as a dry, sticky mouth and tongue.
Aromatherapy: Inhalations of peppermint, lemon, lavender or bergamot oil might help to alleviate nausea and vomiting.
A naturopath may introduce a controlled diet and applied nutrition.
Other therapies include: Homeopathy, Reflexology, Auricular therapy and Chinese and Western Herbalism.
For vomiting, drugs such as metoclopramide may be used, but only in extreme circumstances.
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