Why Does Throwing Up Make You Feel Better
Why Does Throwing Up Make You Feel Better? When I was about 10 years old my mom took me to see a movie called “The Man In The Moon.” It’s basically a drama with some comedy bits and it has no real plot. As we were walking into the theater, I started getting really bad stomach cramps. My mom said this happens sometimes when people are nervous or excited about seeing a movie, so she told us not to worry. We sat through the whole thing without any problem. After the credits rolled, however, I felt like puking all over again. What happened? How did I get so excited watching a movie?
This actually made my mom wonder if there might be an explanation for why people throw up on their first day at school. She thought maybe there was something wrong with how our bodies reacted to being around other kids. So she decided to do some research. Nowadays, parents take their children to pediatricians who can help determine whether there’s anything medically wrong with them. But back then, doctors didn’t know what was causing these episodes.
They couldn’t even identify the condition as such. The only way they could figure out what was happening was by calling it “vomiting syndrome” because that’s what everyone else knew it as.
My mother came across several studies that found that when someone throws up, his or her body releases special chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins are produced naturally in both humans and animals. Their function is to regulate pain and stimulate muscle contractions. Endorphins also have an effect on moods. Some scientists believe that endorphins may play a role in appetite control and sexual behavior, while others think they’re involved in memory processing.
So what does this mean for those suffering from “vomiting syndrome”? First, most of the time your brain will give you that sick feeling to warn you that something is going to happen. Second, just before throwing up your body produces extra saliva, which helps protect your teeth from the strong acid. And third, the vomiting process releases chemicals in your body to make you feel better (though scientists aren’t sure exactly what these chemicals are).
Now that you understand what causes vomiting, let’s talk about some possible reasons why you might want to try to stop yourself from doing it in the first place.
What Are Those Chemical Reactions All About?
It turns out that when we eat food, enzymes in our stomach break down proteins in the food into smaller pieces called amino acids. When the amino acids reach the small intestine, another enzyme called aminopeptidase breaks them down further. This separates nitrogen-containing molecules like urea from the rest of the molecule. Urea serves three important functions.
One, it carries waste products away from the kidneys and bladder, two, it acts as a mild antiseptic and three, it neutralizes excess hydrogen ions in blood. Ammonia, which contains a free hydrogen ion, would otherwise damage cells and tissues. Once urea reaches the liver, it converts ammonia to ammonium sulfate. Ammonium sulfate is a salt composed of equal amounts of hydrogen and sulfur atoms.
Amino acids contain carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Carbon provides energy needed to convert protein into usable fuel. Oxygen allows the use of carbohydrates and fats for energy. Hydrogen atoms attach themselves to amino groups on each side of the molecule. Amino acids combine together to form different polypeptides and proteins. Protein is used by almost every tissue in the human body. Proteins perform many essential functions including building muscles, forming red blood cells, producing antibodies, transporting nutrients within the body and activating hormones. When bacteria attack proteins, lysosomes inside cells degrade them into amino acids.
So now you know why eating foods containing protein makes you feel good and protects your teeth against the onslaught of gastric juices. If you’ve ever eaten sushi, you’ll notice that after you finish, you start to feel much better than you did before. Why? Sushi is made with raw fish that hasn’t been cooked and therefore contains high levels of natural proteolytic enzymes.
These enzymes digest the proteins in the flesh of the fish. Eating raw meat, poultry or fish can cause similar reactions. So why don’t we just avoid eating raw foods altogether? Because our digestive system evolved to handle cooked foods. Raw fruits and vegetables contain too much water for our digestive tract to absorb properly. Cooking kills off bacteria that produce naturally occurring proteolytic enzymes. Also cooking denatures or changes proteins making them less likely to react with natural enzymes.
If you suffer from nausea, you should probably stay away from alcohol. Alcohol stimulates the secretion of gastric juices. People who drink heavily often experience severe bouts of nausea. Drinking can also dehydrate you which can lead to headaches and dizziness.
People who live near oceans or lakes have higher rates of vitamin B deficiency. This is due to the fact that people living near these bodies of water usually consume more algae than residents farther inland. Algae contain lots of vitamins and minerals. However, during digestion, the algal cell wall becomes indigestible. Consequently, the person suffers from vitamin B deficiency.
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