Throwing up stomach acid is never an enjoyable experience. You always throw up stomach acid when you vomit since it is naturally present in your stomach. If your stomach is fairly empty though, you are more likely to notice the stomach acid. When you throw up enough stomach acid, it will look dark green to vivid yellow in color.
When you eat food, bile is secreted within 20 to 40 minutes later. Extra bile is released if you ate a particularly fatty food. If you just ate a few minutes ago, some of the partially digested food, bile, digestive enzymes and mucus may be thrown up as well.
What Causes You to Throw Up Stomach Acid?
1. Your Stomach Is Empty
One of the most common reasons for throwing up stomach acid is because your stomach is empty. When you have food in your stomach, you probably will not notice the small amounts of stomach acid mixed in. When your stomach is empty, stomach acid makes up a larger percentage of your stomach acid.
Throwing up is a normal defense mechanism for your body. It does this to try to remove harmful substances from your body. If you throw up for too long, it can cause damage to your esophagus. You should go to the doctor if you continue to throw up. In addition, make sure to drink plenty of water so that you do not become too dehydrated.
2. Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome
Cyclical vomiting syndrome is probably not the cause of your vomiting because it is an extremely rare disorder. If you do have cyclical vomiting syndrome, then you may experience frequent attacks of vomiting bile. These attacks are often violent and do not occur for any apparent reasons. In severe cases, the vomiting attacks can last for as long as 10 days in a row. Over time, the intensity of this medical condition can irritate the stomach. Unfortunately, this causes the stomach to produce even more bile. In turn, your stomach makes you throw up to get rid of the excessive bile. If you have cyclical vomiting syndrome, you need to go to your doctor to find a way to break this vicious cycle.
3. Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Your body is not made to drink excessive amounts of alcohol or use drugs. Certain medications, illicit drugs and alcohol can all irritate the lining in your stomach. As a result, you may end up vomiting up the stomach acid. In addition, some drugs like morphine and digitalis can make your stomach feel the urge to vomit and bile is expelled by the body.
4. Bile Reflux
Bile reflux is similar to acid reflux. The main difference is that your body is trying to expel the bile instead of stomach acid. Whenever your body makes too much bile, it may want to expel it through vomiting. If you have recently had a stomach surgery, peptic ulcers, gallstones or gastric surgeries, then your stomach may suffer from excessive bile. If it is the result of a surgery, the condition may go away as you heal. No matter what the cause, you should talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
5. Intestinal Obstructions
Sometimes, an obstruction can occur in your small intestine. When your body is functioning properly, the bile is mixed with other substances within your stomach before it reaches the intestines. If there is an obstruction in your intestines, then the bile may have to come out of your body through vomiting. Some of the conditions that can cause an intestinal obstruction includes adhesion, inflammatory bowel disease and gallstones.
Other Potential Causes of Throwing Up Stomach Acid
While the previous conditions are the most common, you may throw up bile for other reasons. Food poisoning or spicy foods can cause you to vomit until your stomach has been emptied out. In addition, you can vomit whenever anything triggers your gag reflex. Intestinal tract infections can cause you to vomit bile. Conditions like gastroenteritis can cause this to happen, and there are medications can also cause your body to expel bile through vomit.
How to Treat Throwing Up Stomach Acid
1. Wear Loose Clothing
When you wear tight-fitting clothes and small waistbands, your internal organs can become too compressed. This can cause your digestive system to become blocked and can make you throw up stomach acid. Switch to wearing clothes with elastic waistbands that are fairly loose fitting.
2. Eat a Healthier Diet
Sometimes, throwing up stomach acid is caused by the food you eat or how you eat it. Try to avoid foods that are extremely acidic. Limit or avoid eating caffeine, citrus fruits, tomatoes, fried foods, peppermint or chocolate. You should also try to eat in smaller meals because smaller meals produce less stomach acid at any given time. You should also eat slower. If you eat a meal in just a couple of minutes, you are not able to chew it thoroughly. Avoid fatty foods because they take longer to digest and thus produce more stomach acid.
3. Try Home Remedies
There are some home remedies that can help you treat stomach acid. A few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar can help you ensure your digestive system is functioning properly. Meanwhile, raw almonds can help reduce acid production while balancing your pH. You can drink a cup of water with a tablespoon of baking soda blended in. A cup of chamomile tea or aloe vera juice can also help.
4. Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Some lifestyle changes can help reduce acid production in your stomach. You can try doing light exercises after eating. If you have just eaten, wait for at least three hours before you go to bed. Smoking weakens the sphincter valve in your lower esophagus, so avoid smoking. You should also be sitting or standing upright for at least 45 minutes after you eat because lying down can worsen acid reflux symptoms. Alcohol can worsen acid production, so avoid drinking or drink moderation. Drink less than two drinks a day if you are woman or three drinks or less than three drinks if you are man. In addition, consider losing weight because being overweight increases your chances of suffering from stomach acid.
5. Medication Options
If you continue to throw up stomach acid, there are medications that can help. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium or Prilosex help to reduce stomach acid production. It takes about two weeks for them to take effect. Meanwhile, H2 blockers like Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac block the histamine receptors that cause you to throw up bile. You can take them before a meal to prevent acid reflux or after a meal to treat heartburn symptoms.