eli5 Why does throwing up hurt our bodies and make us feel terrible


one time whilst throwing up i felt so sick that i passed out, lost my vision for a few seconds and genuinely felt like death. turns out it was just a stomach bug and it went away after a couple days but why does feeling sick hurt so much? what’s actually happening and is it a different feeling for everyone depending on the sickness?

In: 7

It definitely sounds like you may have something else going on. You may want to go see a doctor

The purpose of vomiting is getting rid of harmful substances you ingested. Your body does this by forcefully contracting muscles of, in and around your stomach to push the food up.

It’s possible that this contracting kinda overwhelms your blood supply. Your muscles need oxygenated blood to work, and getting rid of contaminants would get priority over your vision. It shouldn’t go further than a bit of blurriness, so maybe check with a doctor.

The pain is just because you’re straining muscles beyond what they’re used to. It’s a muscle ache. People who throw up often (think anorexics or people with gastric disorders) eventually stop feeling pain. The muscles get stronger, the same as any other muscle.


Hold your breath. Now keep holding it. Keep holding it. Is your neck starting to feel funny? How about your head and your chest?

You can’t puke and breathe at the same time. Well technically in can happen, but that leads to another ugly thing. If all your muscles are braced and helping to expel the bad stuff AND your not breathing in enough, your body starts to kick into certain “Oh #%?!” modes that make it even worse. The body panics.

Want to replicate? Try deadlifting for reps with good form while holding your breath. You will start to see stars and feel woozy, but can probably maintain form for a bit.

Then we have the whole other issue besides the puking. Something bad has gotten into you and is hurting your body. Just like any other bug, it will make things feel off and bad.