Has it happened to you that you had nausea and vomiting due to thick and abundant secretions at the back of your throat?
What is the cause of nausea and vomiting and stomach discomfort after postnasal drip?
What are the ways to treat vomiting and nausea following postnasal drip?
In the following, we would like to share with you the relationship between vomiting and nausea and discharge from the back of the throat and its treatment.
Postnasal drip or phlegm in the back of the throat
The upper airways, i.e. the sinuses, nasal cavity, throat and pharynx, are covered by mucous cells.
One of their functions is to secrete slippery and sticky compounds that keep our airways moist and slippery, and the task of these secretions is to trap pollution, microbes and foreign substances that enter the respiratory tract by inhaling.
We all have these secretions, but these secretions are removed in the usual ways, for example, through nasal secretions.
But normally, we don’t notice these secretions, and it becomes abnormal and pathological when both the volume and concentration of these substances are more than normal.
In these cases, doctors say that you have postnasal drip.
Causes of postnasal drip
- cold viruses and Covid-19
- respiratory bacteria
- fungi and yeasts
- Food allergies
- Inhalation of chemical compounds
- Environmental pollutants
- Flower and plant pollens
- Seasonal allergy or seasonal rhinosinusitis (RS)
- Cold weather and dry air
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Nasal polyps
- Deviations of the nasal septum
Other structural problems of the nose and sinuses:
- enlarged adenoids
- Chronic obstructive lung diseases
- Some tumors
Symptoms of postnasal drip
- Chronic cough i.e. coughs that have lasted for three months and have not responded to common cough suppressant treatments
- Frequent need to clear the voice
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Stomach irritation and vomiting
- Sometimes loss of appetite
- Bad taste of food
Other symptoms that you may feel along with phlegm in the back of the throat are sneezing or swollen lymph nodes.
Dry throat and the feeling of a foreign body in the throat causing nausea are also common.
If inflammation of the sinuses or sinusitis or inflammation of the nasal mucosa or rhinitis has occurred due to allergies and sensitizers, in addition to phlegm at the back of the throat and the related symptoms, the affected person also experiences other symptoms such as red eyes, runny nose, itchy nose, throat and ears, and sneezing.
In this article, we want to talk more about the connection between nausea and vomiting and postnasal drip.
Postnasal drip and nausea and vomiting
phlegm caused by colds, allergies, and gastroesophageal reflux are common causes that cause you to vomit along with postnasal drip.
When a large amount of phlegm from the back of the pharynx accumulates in your throat instead of being discharged from the mouth or nose it causes nausea, stomach irritation and finally vomiting.
The cause of this association is probably the stimulation of the centers related to nausea and vomiting by phlegm that has accumulated in an inappropriate and unnatural way.
It is obvious that when you vomit and you see a lot of phlegm in the vomit, you get stressed and worried, but this issue is not alarming and dangerous.
Because most of the time the cause of phlegm in the back of the throat is temporary viral infections, allergies and gastric reflux and by treating these underlying conditions, the irritation will be removed from the nausea and vomiting centers and you will no longer vomit.
What are the causes of vomiting with sputum in the back of the throat?
- The first reason:
The most common cause of postnasal drip and vomiting is gastroesophageal reflux. The increase in the return of stomach secretions to the esophagus causes the irritation of the esophageal mucosa, and in more severe cases, the irritation of the pharyngeal mucosa and the stimulation of the nausea and vomiting centers, and causes you to empty your stomach contents with severe vomiting.
Infants are much more vulnerable to this issue because their stomach volume is small and with a little excess in eating or a little difficulty in emptying the stomach, the return of the stomach contents to the esophagus and pharynx occurs, and due to the lack of development of nausea and vomiting centers, with the slightest stimulation, vomiting occurs in them.
- The second reason:
People who have a chronic cough and their cough originates from the lower parts of the respiratory system, i.e. the lungs, with their cough they move the mucus from the lungs to the upper part, i.e. the pharynx, and when these secretions increase, some of them enter the esophagus and they reach the stomach through the esophagus.
The entry of these respiratory secretions into the stomach can stimulate nausea and vomiting, and the mucous membrane of the stomach wall is then stimulated, which causes vomiting.
In fact, we should know that when the nausea center is stimulated for any reason, the stomach responds to this stimulus with vomiting in a completely natural reaction and the nausea ends with vomiting.
What is the most important cause of nausea and vomiting related to phlegm in the back of the pharynx?
It can be said that in general, gastroesophageal reflux is the most important cause of vomiting postnasal drip, especially in young people.
Also, people who have prolonged and severe coughs for any reason, these severe coughs can stimulate the nausea center and cause nausea. Also, as we have already explained, the entry of the secretions of the lower parts of the respiratory system such as the lungs into the pharynx and subsequently into the stomach and esophagus irritates the gastric mucosa and this also further stimulates nausea.
It is said that there is no exclusive and specific solution for the treatment of vomiting that follows phlegm in the back of the pharynx.
Usually, the treatment is based on removing the underlying factor, i.e. treating allergies, treating infections, and treating lung infections or gastroesophageal reflux.
In cases where allergies cause phlegm in the back of the throat, usually using corticosteroid nasal drops and sprays can reduce inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose and sinuses and reduce phlegm.
In cases where respiratory infections and viral infections of the nose and sinuses cause a lot of phlegm in the back of the throat, usually the passing of the viral infection period and the use of ibuprofen and gelofen and drinking plenty of water are sufficient to control the inflammation and the problem is solved by removing the viral infection.
Gastroesophageal reflux, which is the most common cause of vomiting with phlegm in the back of the stomach, is usually diagnosed in specialized examinations and specific methods.
Taking drugs that control stomach acid, such as pantoprazole and… under the supervision of a specialist doctor, will free you from the problems caused by reflux.
Also, avoiding smoking, alcohol, spicy foods, and avoiding heavy and fatty meals, as well as avoiding lying down immediately after eating, will help control and relieve your symptoms.
In cases where strong and prolonged coughing stimulates the nausea center and causes vomiting, for example, in smokers who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, the control of the underlying lung disease plays an essential role in controlling vomiting followed by sputum.
When is it necessary to see a doctor immediately?
- Increased fever and chills
- hives and mucous skin rashes
- weight loss
- cramps, pain and discharge from the ear
- shortness of breath
- the presence of blood in vomit
When the volume and concentration of respiratory mucus secretions from the nose and sinuses increases, you will notice phlegm in the back of the pharynx in an abnormal way.
Phlegm in the back of the throat or postnasal drip can be very annoying. Also, when you vomit after this phlegm, you will also experience anxiety and stress.
The most common causes of vomiting associated with sputum in the back of the pharynx are viral infections, allergies, stomach reflux and severe coughs, which can be resolved by treating the underlying cause and removing the sputum.
However, in some cases, this association, especially when vomiting is prolonged or accompanied by weight loss, or there is involvement of lymph nodes, may raise the issue of serious malignancies and tumors.
It is recommended that you consult a specialist doctor as soon as possible if you experience prolonged phlegm in the back of the throat along with vomiting.