New Health Advisor

What Causes Vomiting and Tingling Hands?

Jul 26, 2017

You may be thinking that tingling hands and vomiting don't really go together. However, there are a few conditions that can cause these symptoms to appear at the same time. It is one thing to be throwing up, but add in tingling hands and you may start to worry something is really wrong. You begin to look back on things you ate, and if you have been around anyone that is sick. Actually, the answer may be quite simple. This article will help you understand why this may be happening, what you can do, and when to check with your doctor.

What Causes Vomiting and Tingling Hands?

The most likely cause of tingling hands and vomiting is an illness causing the vomiting, which leads to low electrolytes. When you vomit, your body loses calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Low levels of any of these can lead to tingling in the hands and muscle cramps.

The second most likely cause is an infection that affects the digestive tract, and the nervous system at the same time. It may also be a serious health condition unrelated to infection.

There are a number of illnesses that can lead to either of these. These include:

1. Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the upper digestive tract due to infection, food sensitivity, or reaction to swallowing something caustic. The stomach begins to produce more acid than normal and the lining of the upper digestive system becomes inflamed. Each time you vomit, you lose electrolytes which leads to tingling hands.

Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping, fever, bloating, nausea, heartburn, and appetite loss.

2. Migraine Headache

Migraines can cause both vomiting and nervous system symptoms. Migraines are headaches that occur on a regular basis and are very severe in nature. They are mysterious and researchers still have not found an exact cause.

Symptoms include severe pain in one area of the head, sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, tingling of extremities, spot in the visual field, weakness, and seeing an aura.

3. Food Poisoning

Wondering what causes vomiting and tingling hands? Food poisoning, which happens when you eat food contaminated with microbes, could be the cause. Within 30 minutes to an hour after eating contaminated food, vomiting can begin very forcefully. The body is trying to purge the tainted food and vomiting may continue for hours to days. This can cause a drop in electrolytes causing tingling. Also, if the toxins enter the bloodstream they can affect the nervous system and worsen the tingling sensations.

Symptoms include forceful vomiting soon after eating, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, excess gas, headache, and weakness.

4. Drug Reaction

Certain medications have effects on the body that can make you vomit, and have tingling of the hands. If you only vomit once after taking a medication, then the tingling is most likely a separate side-effect. If you experience these signs, you need to contact your doctor and let him or her know.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tingling, ringing in ears, rash, pain in the muscles or joints, heart rate changes, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and sleepiness.

5. Stroke

Note: A stroke is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know has symptoms of a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away!

A stroke is caused by lack of blood flow to the brain, which causes the brain tissue to die off. It then leads to other parts of the body shutting down quickly. Affected areas are usually the opposite side of the body where the stroke occurred in the brain.

Symptoms include weakness on one side of the body, tingling in the hands and feet, slurred speech, vomiting, trouble walking, loss of consciousness, and facial droop on one side.

6. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the infections that can cause vomiting, and affect the nervous system causing tingling in the extremities. It is caused by a tick bite from a tick infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Once inside the body, it can quickly spread and cause severe illness. If not treated promptly, people can develop chronic Lyme.

Symptoms include red "bulls-eye" rash, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, joint pain, tingling in the hands and feet, fatigue, weakness, and rash all over the body.

7. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Note: Carbon monoxide poisoning is a medical emergency. If you are in an enclosed space with a combustible gas engine or smoke from a fire, get to fresh air immediately and call 9-1-1. Do not go back inside for any reason.

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when something is burning inside an enclosed space, replacing the oxygen with harmful poisonous gasses. As you breathe in carbon monoxide, it pushes out the oxygen your body needs to survive. You may have vomiting and tingling hands due to lack of oxygen. Symptoms can appear suddenly and death can occur within minutes if you do not get into fresh air.

Symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tingling, extreme sleepiness, and confusion.

How to Deal with It

If you are suffering from vomiting and your hands are tingling, there are a few things you can do to bring yourself relief.

  • Sip on sports drinks or electrolyte beverages often while vomiting.
  • Slow your breathing down (Hyperventilation can make your hands tingle).
  • Try shaking your hands to get blood flow to them.
  • Get warm (Chills from an illness can cause tingling).
  • Call your doctor for an "anti-nausea" medication.
  • Try drinking some ginger and/or chamomile tea.
  • Try drinking a glass of milk for calcium.
  • Try drinking a glass of orange juice for potassium (if your stomach tolerates it).
  • Make sure you get enough salty foods or drinks during illness (broth).
  • Nibble on a banana for potassium.

If none of these home tips work, you will need to get medical attention.

When to See a Doctor

If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room right away. This includes things like possible stroke symptoms, carbon monoxide poisoning, and any other symptoms that could be life threatening.

If you have vomiting and tingling hands for more than a couple of days, call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room to get checked out.