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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: hiccups and vomiting?

 Terence - Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:33 pm

My brother has been vomiting alot. He can't hold anything down that's not a liquid. Seven times in fourteen hours. He had alot of hiccups for the past few days and I am wondering whether the hiccups could have caused a hiatal hernia and thus triggered either acid reflex and subsequent regurgitation. He says that once he vomits, he feels much better, but can't hold anything in his stomach that's not liquid. Yogurt, bread and soda do not stay and he says he has a loss of appetite. We just got off a long flight (seven hours) as well and he started throwing up multiple times during the flight, shortly after we took off. Since we have landed, the frequency of his vomit attacks has gone down but has prevented him from holding down solid food. If there is any more information i can provide, please tell me. My email is

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:14 pm

User avatar Hi Terence,

The rapid onset and severity of the vomiting makes me wonder if your brother has a viral stomach infection. Often, these will cause relatively rapid onset of nausea and vomiting for 1-2 days and be followed by diarrhea as the infection moves down the intestinal tract.

A hiatal hernia can certainly lead to reflux. It is unlikely that the hiccups caused the hernia; however, hiccups can be a sign of reflux. Reflux can occur with or without a hiatal hernia. It could be that all this vomiting is due to severe reflux but the rapid onset would be a bit unusual.

If your brother doesn't get better soon or if he begins to appear dehydrated (rapid heart rate, decreased urine production) he should be seen by a doctor to see what is going on.

Best wishes.
 Terence - Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:44 am

Thanks so much. At this point, he's held down liquids for a good bit, and seems to be operating much better, but has not have had any kinds of problems with diarrhea, so I'm wondering if it's still a viral infection?

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:54 pm

User avatar Occasionally (though less commonly) viruses can cause gastritis without the diarrhea part. It's good to hear he's doing a bit better.

Best wishes.

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