Read below about clear vomit, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your clear vomit from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Clear Vomit Symptoms

There are many terms to describe the act of vomiting, each perhaps less pleasant than the last. Although outlining the characteristics of vomit — like the color — may make you want to do so, it is an important process in determining the cause and any possibility of serious implications.

Evaluating the color and consistency of vomit could be referred to as an art, far less sophisticated than interpreting tea leaves, however. The color and consistency of vomit can reveal where the problem is in the gastrointestinal tract, whether or not there is active bleeding in the esophagus, stomach or intestines, and can even provide a clue as to when you last ate.

Bright or dark red vomit is indicative of bleeding somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract. Greenish or yellowish vomit usually contains bile and can indicate a blockage somewhere in the bowel. Brown vomit can happen when there is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract (or if you just ate or drank something brown, of course).

Clear vomiting symptoms occur when one or more of the following conditions have been met:

  • you have vomited so much that you have emptied your stomach of all food, fluid, and bile
  • you have been drinking lots of water
  • you have not eaten for a long time prior to vomiting

Clear Vomit Causes Overview

Vomiting helps to get rid of toxins or poisons that have been ingested. Vomiting is also a normal response to certain central nervous system stimuli or high levels of hormones.

Exposure:

  • The most common cause of clear vomiting is acute gastroenteritis - an infection in the gut caused by exposure to bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
  • Exposure to cancer chemotherapy can lead to vomiting because many cancer medications stimulate the vomiting center of the brain.
  • Some drugs also stimulate the vomiting center of the brain. Others (including alcohol) cause vomiting due to their toxic effect on the body.
  • Some people vomit after surgery, in response to general anesthesia.

Gastrointestinal:

  • Vomiting may be a symptom of obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract – particularly in the bowel. When the blood flow to the small intestine is compromised (mesenteric ischemia) vomiting may result.
  • Vomiting can also occur in acute pancreatitis, gallbladder disease and reflux.

Central nervous system:

  • Alterations in the structure (e.g. tumors or stroke) or function (e.g. motion sickness or seizures) of the brain can trigger vomiting. Infection, migraine headaches, injury, and vertigo may also cause vomiting.

Hormonal:

  • High levels of the pregnancy hormone beta-HCG can induce vomiting. The levels of beta-HCG peak at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, which is when most women start to get relief from morning sickness.

Psychiatric:

  • Bulimia is an eating disorder. People affected by bulimia have patterns of binge eating, followed by behaviors that prevent weight gain - including self-induced vomiting.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Clear Vomit

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced clear vomit. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Non - Specific Nausea and Vomiting

    Nausea and vomiting with no recognizable cause.

    1 day

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific nausea and vomiting:
    nausea, vomiting
    Symptoms that never occur with non-specific nausea and vomiting:
    diarrhea, fever, headache
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

    Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint. Every year, about 1 in every 4 people will experience an episode of dyspepsia, of which most cases do not have a serious underlying cause.

    These symptoms are likely to resolve, if they persist you should discuss this with your primary care physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, stomach bloating, dyspeptic symptoms, bloating after meals, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    dyspeptic symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    vomiting (old) blood or passing tarry stools, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Viral (Norovirus) Infection

    Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    Usually resolves within 2-3 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    diarrhea, vomiting or nausea
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool, vaginal bleeding, alertness level change
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Clear Vomit Checker

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  4. 4.Food Poisoning

    Food poisoning is a common ailment that causes gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is caused by improperly handled or unrefrigerated food.

    1-3 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), dizziness
    Symptoms that never occur with food poisoning:
    severe fever, being severely ill, bloody diarrhea
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Functional Dyspepsia / Indigestion

    Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint and in most cases there is no serious underlying cause. This is when doctors call it 'functional'.

    Symptoms of indigestion often come and go and may be chronic. Usually treatment includes medicines that neutralize or diminish stomach acid production or medicines that relief nausea.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    stomach bloating, nausea, dyspeptic symptoms, bloating after meals, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with functional dyspepsia/indigestion:
    dyspeptic symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with functional dyspepsia/indigestion:
    vomiting (old) blood or passing tarry stools, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Acute Gastritis

    Acute gastritis is the sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and/or upper abdominal pain that's caused by inflammation of your stomach lining. If it doesn't go away, this can become an ulcer. Causes include taking a medication that affects the stomach, an infection by a bug called, "H. Pylori", or your immune system reacting to yourself.

    Prognosis is great with the appropriate treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, mild abdominal pain
    Symptoms that never occur with acute gastritis:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

    Cyclic vomiting syndrome is characterized by episodes of severe vomiting that have no apparent cause. Episodes can last for hours or days and alternate with relatively symptom-free periods of time.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, headache, abdominal pain (stomach ache), trouble sleeping
    Symptoms that always occur with cyclic vomiting syndrome:
    episodic vomiting
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Clear Vomit Treatments and Relief

Seek immediate medical care if you have clear vomit and:

  • fever
  • chest or stomach pain
  • bloody stools
  • severe headache or stiff neck
  • lethargy
  • recent head injury
  • unintentional weight loss
  • signs of dehydration – fatigue, excessive thirst, dry mouth or tongue, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, and/or dark urine
  • bloating
  • vomiting lasting for more than two days
  • flu-like symptoms which are worsening
  • are unable to hold down any liquid or solid food for 24 hours

Most clear vomiting symptoms will resolve on their own after 2-3 days. During this time, it is important to stay well-hydrated and to replace electrolytes lost during clear vomiting. Sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade) and electrolyte supplements (e.g. Pedialyte) provide both fluid and electrolyte replacement. If you can tolerate beverages, you may gradually progress your diet. Once you can hold down clear fluids, try foods that are soft and bland. If soft, bland foods stay down, try small amounts of carbohydrates such as crackers or bread. Fatty foods should be avoided as they are most likely to make vomiting worse.

The use of ginger teas, chews, and other ginger supplements have been shown to reduce clear vomiting symptoms, especially the vomiting associated with early pregnancy.

There are also over-the-counter and prescription antiemetic (anti-vomiting) medications that can be used.

Over-the-counter antiemetics include:

  • Kaopectate
  • Pepto-bismol
  • Antihistamines like Dramamine

Prescription antiemetics include:

  • Ondansetron
  • Metoclopramide
  • Diclegis (approved for use in pregnancy)
  • Compazine
  • Phenergan

Clear vomiting symptoms caused by chronic, underlying conditions, such as migraines, should be treated by a healthcare provider. Vomiting due to underlying, chronic conditions may require more complex medication management than what is included here.

FAQs About Clear Vomit

Here are some frequently asked questions about clear vomit.

Why do I throw up clear fluid in the morning?

Most commonly, early morning vomiting is associated with early pregnancy in what is called “morning sickness.” However, you may also experience nausea or vomiting in the morning due to low blood sugar (from not eating all night), acid reflux or GERD (which is worsened by lying flat), sleep apnea, or stress. Your vomit is clear because there is nothing in your stomach in the morning; you haven’t eaten since last night!

Why am I throwing up clear liquid while pregnant?

Pregnancy is a time of massive hormonal change in the body. This can lead to hormone imbalance transiently, which can cause nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women often experience bouts of nausea and vomiting in the morning during the first trimester. This is called “morning sickness.” Your vomit is clear because your stomach is empty.

Can clear vomit be a sign of a stomach virus?

Yes, clear vomit can be a sign of a stomach virus. Vomit is generally clear when you have not eaten in awhile, you have ingested a lot of water, or you have previously vomited all prior food from your stomach. Many stomach viruses cause nausea, which may stop you from eating, or cause repeated bouts of vomiting until there is nothing left in your stomach to color your vomit.

Can clear vomit be a result of no food in the stomach or drinking too much water?

Clear vomit usually means there is nothing left in your stomach to be vomited up other than gastric secretions. When you vomit, your body violently contracts the stomach to send its contents upward and out of your mouth. If you have not eaten in awhile, the prior eaten food will have started digestion and moved beyond your stomach to your small intestine, leaving nothing behind to vomit except clear liquid and mucus. Your vomit may be clear if you drank a lot of water recently as well. Rapid overconsumption of water can also lead to vomiting, as your stomach becomes overdistended and forces you to vomit.

When should you seek medical attention for clear vomit?

Everyone gets sick on occasion with a stomach bug, food poisoning, or another cause of vomiting. Most of these conditions can be managed at home. Certain warning signs should prompt you to seek attention for your clear vomiting. These include: inability to keep down liquids for a prolonged period, signs of severe dehydration including dizziness, severe belly pain, a change in vomit color to bloody or coffee ground-like, high fever, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Clear Vomit

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Are you experiencing a headache?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our clear vomit symptom checker to find out more.

Clear Vomit Quiz

Clear Vomit Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced clear vomit have also experienced:

    • 12% Nausea
    • 10% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 7% Headache
  • People who have experienced clear vomit had symptoms persist for:

    • 65% Less Than a Day
    • 21% Less Than a Week
    • 5% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced clear vomit were most often matched with:

    • 33% Non - Specific Nausea and Vomiting
    • 33% Indigestion (Dyspepsia)
    • 33% Viral (Norovirus) Infection
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having clear vomit

Clear Vomit Quiz