Unexplained Vomiting

What Causes Unexplained Vomiting?

Unexplained vomiting can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose unexplained vomiting, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "unexplained vomiting" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Chronic Renal Insufficiency
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • West Nile Virus
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects
  • Hepatitis
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
severe lower-left abdominal pain
frequent confusion/disorientation
infrequent earaches
having a slight fever
high cigarette smoke sensitivity
epigastric pain
reasonably controlled diabetes
diarrhea for 1-3 months
unexplained fevers that hit hard
edema of the eyelids
gradual loss of vision
frequent rashes
... and more than 80 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of unexplained vomiting:
Cause Probability Status
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 96% Confirm
Chronic Renal Insufficiency 25% Unlikely
Epstein-Barr Virus 19% Unlikely
Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects 1% Ruled out
West Nile Virus 0% Ruled out
Ovarian Cysts 0% Ruled out
Hyperparathyroidism 0% Ruled out
Hepatitis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Gastro-Intestinal Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about unexplained vomiting:
How often do you suffer from vomiting that is not part of a known condition such as food poisoning or indigestion?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Never / very rarely
→ Occasionally - a few times per year
→ Regularly - a few times per month
→ Often - several times per week
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no unexplained vomiting, occasional unexplained vomiting, regular unexplained vomiting or frequent unexplained vomiting, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers
Bleeding ulcers may cause nausea and vomiting of acidified blood resembling "coffee grounds" material.

Related Questions

Gastro-Intestinal Symptoms