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Digestive Disorders

Constipation/Vomiting

04/02/2001

Question:

My husband had an uncomfortable bloated feeling for over a day, and then experienced some severe cramping late yesterday evening. From my own experience I believed he was constipated and had him try a suppository and then a warm water enema. This did cause him to have a good bowel movement with his cramping getting somewhat better. However, as he was going, he suddenly became nauseous and vomited quite severely. The vomit contained lots of undigested food pieces (he had eaten dinner 7 hours beforehand, and dessert 4 hours before). Do you have any idea what might have caused this? Today he says his stomach feels off after eating meals. The dessert he consumed did contain banana which he was previously allergic to. Would that have contributed to these symptoms in any way?

Answer:

Based on the information you provided it would be difficult to make a diagnosis without personally interviewing and examining your husband - making diagnoses is not the purpose of this Website anyway. I can make a few general comments about your question. Acute onset of bloating and cramping followed by vomiting of old, undigested food is more indicative of an upper GI tract (stomach or small intestine) problem rather than of a colon (large intestine) problem. Problems such as partial or complete blockage of the small intestine or delayed emptying of the stomach might cause such symptoms. If your husband`s symptoms continue he should see a physician.

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Response by:

John D Long, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati