What is vomiting?
Vomiting is the body's way of ridding itself of harmful substances from the stomach, or it may be a reaction to something that has irritated the gut.
Vomiting in adults is usually not a sign of anything serious and usually improves within 48 hours (two days) and may have completely gone within three days.
It can occasionally be a sign of something more serious, such as a blockage in your bowel or kidney stones.
If you are feeling very unwell or are worried about your vomiting, visit your doctor.
Vomiting is usually caused by a mild bacterial infection. Food poisoning and other viruses can also cause vomiting although these often cause diarrhoea as well.
Vomiting can be unpleasant and you may find you feel unwell for a few days after you have been sick.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your vomiting, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Last reviewed: July 2015