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Dr. Hanson
Dr. Hanson, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 935
Experience:  Diplomate, American Board of Quality Assurance & Utilization Review Physicians
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When I go to the bathroom to poo poo, i throw up or feel ...

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When I go to the bathroom to poo poo, i throw up or feel like i want to throw up. What is wrong?
This is called vasovagal nausea and/or vomiting which occurs as a result of overstimulation of the vagus nerve while straining to have a bowel movement ("poo poo"). Straining to have a bowel movement can overstimulate the vagus nerve and cause some people to vomit and/or faint and occasionally will cause a person's heart to stop. Straining to have a bowel movement can be very serious; therefore, you should avoid becoming constipated. Relieve your bowels as soon as you feel the need or you will become constipated which will result in excessive straining which can cause vasovagal nausea and vomiting. The longer the transit time of stool (bowel movement) in your large intestine, then the greater the fluid absorption and the drier and harder your stool becomes.

Your vagus nerve runs from your brain, into your neck, through your chest cavity, and into your abdomen. The vagus nerve is also called the pneumogastric nerve since it supplies the lungs and the stomach. Some people are oversensitive to stimulation of their vagus nerve. These people are likely to have a vasovagal episode while having a bowel movement. The stimulation of the vagus nerve can also cause dizziness and fainting.   At the start of a vasovagal episode a person feels uneasy, then they feel unsteady, their face turns pale, then they perspire and nausea and vomiting occurs.


Drink a warm or hot drink e.g. a cup of hot tea with lemon and sugar, an hour before your usual time for having a bowel movement.

Increase your amount of dietary fiber. Eat high fiber foods such as fruits (e.g., raisins, prunes, peaches, and apples), green, leafy vegetables and other vegetables (e.g., squash, broccoli, carrots, and celery), and whole-grain cereals, breads, and bran. Increased fiber intake must be accompanied by increased fluid intake or constipation may result. Experts recommend that healthy adults consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day.

Drink adequate amounts of fluids daily which is usually at least 8 glasses per day or 1/2 ounce per pound of your body weight daily (if not contraindicated by renal or heart disease).

Eat a natural laxative mixture consisting of raisins, currants, prunes, figs, dates, and prune concentrate in the morning. Boil prunes in water until they are soft. Then cool the boiled prunes and the liquid. Eat the softened boiled prunes and drink the liquid.

Take a stool softener Colace, Dialose,Docusate, DOS, Doxinate, Fleet SofLax,   
Hemaspan, Modane Soft, or Surfak,

Or, take Lactulose (Cholac, Cephulac) which is a synthetic disaccharide that passes to the colon undigested. When it is broken down in the colon, it produces lactic acid, formic acid, acetic acid, and carbon dioxide. These products increase the osmotic pressure, thus increasing the amount of water held in the stool, which softens the stool and increases the frequency of passage. Onset: 24 to 48 hours. Dosage: 15 to 30 cc once a day. Caution: Excessive amounts may cause diarrhea with electrolyte losses.

Take milk of magnesia, 30 to 45 mL, if a bowel movement is not achieved in 24 hours after other methods are instituted.

Exercise moderately at least 30 minutes daily e.g. take a walk or ride a bike, etc.
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