Why does alcohol make you throw up?

+94 votes
asked Mar 25, 2015 in Health & Wellness by Sally (940 points)
I’ve been a victim of occasionally drinking either too much, too fast, or on an empty stomach and end up very sick and throwing up. No one likes to throw up, especially at a party or a friend’s house. It’s so embarrassing! Everyone knows this happens, but why does alcohol make you throw up after a lot of drinking?

2 Answers

+18 votes
answered Mar 31, 2015 by zachary (500 points)
edited Jul 27, 2015 by Kris
So, why does alcohol make you throw up? I heard that our body might be having a memory associated expulsion of something it recognizes as having been offensive before, in your case, it’s throwing up after drinking. Sometimes your body will have an immediate and involuntary reaction to something it couldn’t handle before or that it remembers as being connected to a bad experience. I used to be able to drink tequila with no problem, although I was never a big fan of it, until I got extremely drunk on tequila one night and ended up vomiting. That particular experience was the worst drinking related illness I’ve ever had. Now every time I taste or even smell tequila, it makes my stomach turn, and I instantly want to vomit. I’ve taken this as a sign that my body remembers how awful that night was just as much as my mind does. So occasionally, certain kinds of alcohol or even all alcohol might become unappealing and cause vomiting because of a bad experience with it.
+2 votes
answered Apr 3, 2015 by Natascha (650 points)
Generally, alcohol makes you throw up because you have consumed a toxic amount of alcohol and your body wants to get rid of it. Your body is aware that it has ingested a toxic level of alcohol. Sometimes this point of intoxication isn’t achieved until the next day after your body has had time to fully absorb the amount of alcohol ingested the previous night, but this can also happen while still actively drinking. Your body will attempt to expel the alcohol you’ve consumed as a way of saving itself from possibly damaging effects on your system. Vomiting after drinking alcohol doesn’t always mean that you have experienced alcohol poisoning, but this is a real risk involved with drinking. Signs of alcohol poisoning paired with throwing up include expelling blood, seizures, irregular breathing, and a bluish tint to the skin. It is important to seek medical attention if you think that either you or a friend are experiencing alcohol poisoning in order to ensure both survival and to stop excessive damage to your body.
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