Why can really bad odors induce vomit?


Why can really bad odors induce vomit?

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Vomiting is a defense mechanism to get bad potentially poisonous stuff out of your stomach before it has a chance to actually enter your body and make you sick.

Because the consequences of *not* vomiting when you’ve eaten poison is possible death, vomiting has evolved to be over-cautions. If there’s any chance you’ve consumed something toxic, it’s better to err on the side of caution and vomit just in case.

In the case of bad smells: A lot of toxic things smell awful, and a lot of awful-smelling things are toxic. So when you smell a bad smell (particularly the smells of things that *are* toxic, like feces or rotting meat), your brain goes “whoa, toxins close by! Better throw up in case I’ve somehow eaten any!”.

Motion sickness in cars is the same mechanism. Brain goes “eyes and ears report different, conflicting info on whether we’re moving or not. There’s a chance this is a symptom of poison, better throw up to get rid of the poison if there is any!”

Getting nauseous from seeing others vomiting is the same too: “Oh that person beside me is throwing up. That means they think they’re poisoned. And they’re right there, which means *I* might be poisoned! Better throw up too just in case!”

It’s your bodies way of saying “You are NOT eating that, and if you did, you’re not keeping it”

Your body assumes its poison and your go to defense for being poisoned is to assume its something you ate and throw up

Your body believes it is being poisoned. Look up sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous responses.

I think the answer has been pretty well covered, but I’d like to add a remedy for nausea is smelling rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). You can use alcohol wipes (not bleach wipes!) or even hand sanitizer. It’s much faster than anti-nausea pills and is evidence-based to be very effective! I don’t think we understand the mechanism behind it, but it’s a good hack if you’re feeling nauseous, sea sick/car sick, etc.