What to do when you throw up even the water you drink without that being a choice?

Vomiting can protect the body by getting rid of harmful substances. However, vomiting often or for a long time can lead to dehydration, which is the loss of too much fluid from the body. Becoming dehydrated can be very dangerous, especially for children, older adults, and some people who have other medical problems. To avoid this, you need to replace the lost fluids.

At first you should rest your stomach for a few hours by eating nothing solid and sipping only clear liquids. A little later you can eat soft bland foods that are easy to digest.

If you have been vomiting a lot, it is best to have only small, frequent sips of clear liquids. Drinking too much at once, even an ounce or two, may cause more vomiting.

Clear liquids you can drink are water, weak tea, bouillon, apple juice, and sport drinks. You may also drink soft drinks without caffeine (such as 7-UP) after letting them go flat (lose their carbonation). It may be easier to keep down liquids that are cold. Suck on ice chips or Popsicles if you feel too nauseated to drink fluids.

Your choice of liquids is important. If water is the only liquid you can drink without vomiting, that is OK for a few hours. However, if you have been vomiting for several hours, you must replace the minerals (sodium and potassium) that are lost when you vomit. These minerals are also called electrolytes. Ask your health care provider what sport drinks or other electrolyte replacement drinks could help you replace these minerals. Avoid liquids that are acidic (such as orange juice) or caffeinated (such as coffee or colas) or have a lot of carbonation. If you have diarrhea as well as nausea or vomiting, do not drink milk.

It is important to drink small amounts (1 to 4 ounces) often so that you do not become dehydrated. Gradually drink larger amounts of the clear fluids. If you vomit, wait an hour, and then start over with a smaller amount of fluid.