B Fruitfull

Acid Reflux causes and Treatment

Why Can Severe Pain Make You Vomit?

Why Can Severe Pain Make You Vomit?


[♩INTRO] Throwing up is actually the worst, but at least
your body has a good reason for it most of the time, like if you’ve eaten bad
seafood or something. But nausea and vomiting are also common side
effects of severe pain, whether it’s from a migraine or getting
punched really hard, and that seems much less logical. Like, why would a raging migraine in your
head make your body want to empty your stomach? Well, there’s a chance you can blame it
on our old friend adrenaline. There’s lot of anecdotal evidence for the
link between pain and vomiting, but purposely hurting people badly enough
to make them blow chunks for a study is kind of ethically sketchy. So research on this usually follows surgery
patients people who will likely be in pain anyway,
and at predictable times. In these studies, patients experienced both
pain and nausea after their procedures. And the researchers found that when only the
pain was treated, the nausea tended to disappear, too. At least, the vast majority of the time. That strongly suggested the pain was the source
of the queasiness in these cases, not something else about the surgery,
like anesthesia. Since pain is so complex, both in terms of
where you feel it and how strong it is, it’s difficult for scientists to pin down
exactly what mechanism links pain and vomiting. But they do have some promising ideas, one of which involves hormones like adrenaline. Adrenaline is the stuff that gets your heart
pounding before a first date or a big race, and it’s also released when
you’re in pain. That’s probably because pain is a sign that
something is clearly going wrong. So by speeding up your breathing and heart
rate, adrenaline can prepare your body to escape
a potential threat. As part of that preparation, the hormone activates
a bunch of receptors throughout your body, including one type called
alpha-adrenergic receptors, which might be specifically responsible for
the pain-induced vomiting. This hasn’t been directly tested in humans,
but in some animals, activation of these receptors can cause neurons to fire
in a brain region called the area postrema, a tiny spot in your brainstem more commonly known as the vomiting center. And like the name suggests, it triggers the numerous systems that lead
to revisiting your lunch. So when you’re in a ton of pain, that flood
of adrenaline could activate a bunch of these alpha receptors, and therefore your
vomiting center. And then it’s hello, toilet. Then again, the answer could be more complicated. See, while vomiting itself has some pretty
clear-cut mechanisms, the causes of nausea are still poorly understood. Studying it is really tough because unlike
pain, nausea is more than just a physical signal. It’s a full-on physical, psychological,
and even emotional experience, and that makes it hard to test in animals. It’s not like you can just ask a rat how
queasy they’re feeling. So, it’s possible that pain mostly leads
to nausea, and that sickly feeling is what makes you throw up, rather than pain directly
leading to vomiting. To learn more, scientists will need to find
some way to research this process in humans. But since they can’t just go around punching
people until they throw up… first they’ll need to find a safe way to
do it. In the meantime, thanks for asking, and thanks
to all of our patrons on Patreon who voted to have this question answered! Hopefully all this talk about vomit didn’t
make you too queasy. If you have a science question for us, or
want to get access to other cool rewards like exclusive blooper
reels while supporting this show, you can go to
patreon.com/scishow. [♩OUTRO]

100 Replies to “Why Can Severe Pain Make You Vomit?”

  • Why not run studies on people like us, here in the comments. There's so many people here with chronic pain a survey of us and our friends and family with chronic pain could be extremely…. I lost the word… means it'd be a very big sample size and high chance of getting better information than previous studies…. someone comment what I mean please? Lol. Tia

  • maybe an ethical way to study it would be to get volunteers who suffer from chronic migraines (like myself) and study what happens when they get migraines and why it makes them nauseous

  • I imagined scientists in lab coats going around the streets punching random people until they throw up while writing down the notes

  • According to the comments section, I am the only person alive who doesn’t throw up every time they stub a toe or get a headache.

  • My migraines make me vomit if they last more than a few hours. Oddly I cant go to sleep with a migraine until I vomit. I always feel better often puking too.

  • I get nauseous when I get a particularly bad migraine but honestly…It usually only leads to puking once a year or so.

    Oddly enough, I also get cluster headaches once a year for a couple of weeks and those are much, MUCH worse. A hundred times worse. However, they almost never lead to nausea. I can only imagine it’s because the pain is so intense, the only thing your body is capable of doing is pacing back and forth and going “mmmmmmmmmm!” until it subsides enough for you to collapse into a pile and fall asleep.

  • I’ve never understood the whole ‘Pain causing Nausea’ thing…… I get Cluster Headaches & I’ve never felt Nauseous. 🤨

    All you little babies & your piffly-little Migraines…. I once camping with my wife’s family, got medium Cluster Headache and never even felt a red-hot coal fall out of the campfire & burn through my right leg. If it wasn’t for the smell I would probably have lost my leg, as it was you could see the bone, and yet never felt ANY Nausea. 😅

  • I once threw up from severe kidney pain cause of a HORRIBLE Urinary Tract Infection, either that or it was directly from the infection.

  • I would like to commend SciShow for how they presented this topic. I believe that they did a fine job in offering proven scientific information to support possible reasons for the correlation that nausea and vomiting are side effects of pain. They accomplished this while leaving out overenthusiastic conclusions that have yet to be proven. SciShow also addresses that due to ethical issues, it may be difficult to conduct clinical trials to better understand this phenomenon. One of the ethical issues mentioned is that it is unethical to cause a group of people pain to further understand its connection to nausea and vomiting. Researches in the medical field are restricted by the ethical principle of non-maleficence, or to not be the cause of harm. Another possibility to obtain data on this topic would be the monitoring of patients that are already experiencing extreme amounts of paint due to injury or illness. However, this also brings up an ethical issue because a doctor has the ability to administer various medications that are proven to relieve pain. A doctor in this circumstance would not be practicing beneficence. This principle requires doctors to improve the condition of their patients when possible. Not providing the pain medication, leaving their patient to suffer would violate this principle. If anyone has any other insights, it would be great to hear them. It will be interesting to see if scientists ever find a way to truly understand the connection of nausea and vomiting to pain.

  • Decided not to take any pain meds to see how intense my period pain could get, the result was not fun!
    Also migraines are torture especially when you end up over the toilet.

  • My boyfriend has chronic migraines, and he said when he throws up, it feels like his brain not knowing what to do, so if it has one less thing to think about, like what's in his stomach, it'll go for it.

  • It's caused by stress and panic can also cause to pitch ur cookies, but everyone with the cramps I'm a woman: it's not that bad grow up…that nausea is actually due to bloating and related abdominal issues

  • Phew glad I'm not the only one who throws up in the presence of pain, or at least, who experiences nausea. Didn't know it was a common thing xD

  • I feel like these studies could be done on migraine sufferers! Almost every time I get a migraine, I vomit, and it almost always feels better afterwards.

  • The most promising research as of why pain can lead to vomiting correlates with the ancient Chinese medical theory of gaseous influences on the mind. More research is being doing with pain signals and gaseous signalling molecules, like nitric oxide, and how that might create some sort of cascade involving the gut and brain. But as always, more research is needed.

  • I’ve twisted my ankle before, bad enough to start feeling nauseated as my face felt hot. I felt better when I splashed cold water on my face.

  • I have severe social anxiety, and at my former shitty toxic workplace, I developed a persistent vomit-gag reflex. Adrenaline explains a lot.

  • Could endorphins be the culprit? Opioid drugs are well known to cause nausea, so it would follow that a flood of your body's own opioids would trigger a similar response. Then again, the human body is rarely that simple.

  • It seems periods and menstrual cramps were more prevelant than migraines as causes for vomiting. Being a sufferer of kidney stones, I imagined I'd see more comments of kidney stones being a reason for puking ones guts out from the horrifically IMMENSE pain caused by such a pesky, small (in relation to the body and just how much pain is experienced) calcified rock.

  • You can tell the studies, and this video, were done by men because they never even thought about menstrual cramps. Every month thousands of women are crawling to toilets to vomit from the pain, and yet they use boxing as an example.

  • I watch a live safari streaming show, un-coincidentally called SafariLive and there was an incident of a leopard being in a confrontation with a lion. The leopard sustained a very superficial wound and then vomited after the incident. I suspect the vomiting was more a panic/fear response more than pain as the injury was really only minor and superficial. This puts me in the mind to think that vomiting and the subsequent queasiness that accompanies it is a really base response to the idea that the individual is being threatened somehow. Vomiting would empty the stomach making it theoretically easier to run, climb, and do all the things necessary to escape threat. Pain indicating to the body that the individual is in some way under threat. Obviously humans don't require that response in the same way that wild animals do, but it could just be a remnant instinct/reaction from when we did.

  • it is related to biological history of human development: thousand years of humans trying and discovering new food sources + rotten and poisonous food intake = the only way for the body to survive was to puke away those toxins. Still today the smell of rotten items or poop for instance, trigger this vomiting mechanism. So, pain may induce regurgitation due to hormonal or enzimes ..BUT its also much more likelly that a high pain that lasts for a little while triggers this biological historical response: if its hurting the body so much bur the body cant stop it…then it tryies to puke away. Similar responses are seen when people face immediate terror, life threatning situations and severe psychological pressure.

  • Help! It hurts in My belly And i feel like im going to vomit AND I HATE VOMITING! ITS the Worse i cant brearmer right now!

  • I was vomited after i coughing, im feeling pain at my abdominent after i vomit… worst enough but im fine after all

  • I had intergestion and I can explain it ITS HELL-NON EARTH I HAD II WAS VOMITING PLS EAT YOUR VEGES KIDS but seriously I had stomach pains I was in A and E at 2am at night to 6am they did nothing than gave me tablets what made me throw up more

  • I got four teeth removed on Thursday Friday night I woke up vomiting and is still happening into now Sunday morning

  • It's 2007. I was 14 and out skateboarding. Did a small ollie off of a 3ft high ramp and was going to slowly. Not much of a drop at all by my standards at the time. BUT my front (left) foot slips off the front of the board due to traveling to slowly as I went into the ollie.. as I land my back foot lands dead centre onto the back trucks. Squarely planting the board onto the ground. With my full weight and the board onto my left foot… the rest of my momentum carrys the board and my own body weight over my own ankle, under the front trucks, which twists about 100 degrees inwards and then receives my full body weight as the board staggers to a halt and I'm tumbling forwards on what was pretty much the base of my shin by that point.. I still remember the feelings of nausia to this day..

    and that is the tale of why I looked for this video 😀

  • Me: Vomiting.
    Nurse: Are you in pain?
    Me: Yep. And sick. Spewing up.
    Nurse: Ok. Let's get some pain relief into you, and some nausea meds.
    Me: Reduce pain.
    Me: I still need to be sick! (Start throwing up). Now I'm hurting again.
    Me: Well it's a waste of time taking painkillers. I'm sick when I'm not taking them. I'm sick when I start taking them. Sick anyway.
    Me telling the nurse: I'd rather just suffer from pain and keep throwing up, thank you. I can't even avoid sickness and pain when I take medicine.
    Doctor: Hmmmmmmm……. Ok… Well, let's just keep trying a huge list of medicines and medicine combos until something finally works, hey?
    Me: Yeah? I've never considered that before!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ** ** **

    Well, am I so bloody happy I'm not in a bad way, currently! I never want to experience surgery or personal problem flare-ups ever again.

  • 😭😭😭😭😭🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤢🤢🤢🤢 I mean spelled throwing up and I don't like it my mom is throwing up pretty bad

  • When spraining my ankel worst sprain with all ligaments torn I was in so much pain that I had the feeling of throwing up which luckily i didn't

  • I completely understand this I tore ligaments in my ankle just under a year ago and pretty badly (to the point I don’t think I let it heal properly as I still feel the pain to this day a lot) I decided not to go to the hospital (stupid 12 year old me ) until the next day as I had done it before but not as bad as this time and went to bed I woke up in the morning in extreme pain but thought i would go in the shower and get ready, I rolled onto the floor to crawl to the shower and stayed on my knees until I had the water turn on and ready to go in I stood up on my one good leg and felt a bit dizzy but passed it by I got in the shower and suddenly fell extremely light headed lost my vision and hearing and some how managed to get out of the shower onto the floor and then proceeded to come back around only just to throw up as soon as I did all from the pain one of the worst experiences of my life 😔

  • Hi yesterday I didn’t sleep at and vomited I think 6 time and had diarrhea it was horrible what war the worst night for you

  • Sudden sharp pain always makes me throw up. I sprained my thumb playing frisbee – threw up. I fell off my bike and had a bad case of road rash – spent twenty minutes bent over and throwing up before I could even inspect my (awful) injuries. Once on a flight, I turned in my seat too suddenly and felt a sharp pain in my shoulder – thank goodness my seat was at the back of the plane, near the toilets. I barely made it there before I threw up. Just this morning, I was walking across my room and accidentally bumped my hand on the back of a chair quite hard. Again, I had to basically run to the bathroom. And, of course, migraines – I always spend the whole day in the bathroom throwing up when I have a migraine attack. I guess my body is making too much adrenaline, or whatever.

  • I just hit my hand so hard, i had it curled like a puch but i just launched it down out of anger, and i hit th side o my desk, it hurt me so much i thought i broke my hand, i felt like my whole body just bursted into flames, and i got lightheaded as well as nauseous, had to put ice on my hand and heavily control my breathing fo it to pass.

  • Anyone ever just get lower abdomen pain so bad that they have hot flashes in their head and want to throw up (not because of stomach problem but because of the sheer pain)

  • I had testistorsion this summer, puked multiple times at the way to the hospital. (My testicle made a 360°) most intense pain I ever felt so it’s quite undescribable.

  • luckily i never had to throw up but i have chronic migraine headaches it affects my ability to work to my full capacity like i would like to when my head hurts i get really dizzy and nauseated but never have thrown up because of a migraine

  • Okay so right now I just threw up like crap and I’m on my period and I can barely hold my phone I’ll tell my family when they get home

  • Sometimes I get really bad cramps (even though I'm a guy and don't have periods) that puts me on the floor for at least 20 minutes or more and the nausea takes over. Normally I have a external high pain tolerance, but once it comes to internal pain, it becomes a moderate pain tolerance.

    Also it sometimes feels like a gallbladder attack all over again even though I had it removed a few years ago and I'm on a morphine type of medication called Statex for that pain. It's on a almost daily basis and I go through gravol very quickly on top of that due to the nausea that accompanies the pain.

  • yep I got that years ago on heaps of doxy all the time in 2007 and later from rash and vomiting with periods and pain killers. middle ear infection was never vomiting but very dizzy. I am getting that way I can't take panadol or nsaids etc due to stomach cramps and spasms.

  • I would vomit on my period and almost fall to the floor fainting, coz my stomach felt like it was being squished like a sponge inside..Horrible

  • Yes this is true. I have thrown up from migraine headaches. Even worse, when both the stomach and head hurt simultaneously 🤮

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