Q:

What are some illnesses associated with coughing and throwing up?

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Quick Answer

Pertussis triggers violent coughs that cause a patient to throw up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diseases such as asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease and chronic bronchitis also trigger chronic coughing that leads to vomiting, says Mayo Clinic.

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What are some illnesses associated with coughing and throwing up?
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Full Answer

The Bordetella pertussis bacteria cause pertussis, an infection of the respiratory tract. The patient experiences uncontrollable, severe coughing that makes breathing difficult, followed by a high-pitched “whooping” sound. During the initial stages of infection, the patient experiences symptoms such as a slight fever, runny nose, mild coughing and diarrhea. Severe coughing begins after 10 to 12 days and can sometimes cause vomiting. The infection can last from six to 10 weeks, claims MedlinePlus.

A chronic cough that lasts four weeks in children and at least eight weeks in adults can also trigger vomiting. Asthma, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, aspiration and lung cancer can cause this. Patients experience symptoms such as hoarseness, heartburn, a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat and wheezing, and sometimes they cough up blood. Vomiting occurs in severe cases, as well as depression, lightheadedness and rib fractures, according to Mayo Clinic.

Whenever vomiting follows coughing, a doctor needs to consider a pertussis diagnosis, recommends MedlinePlus. Individuals with pertussis symptoms should seek medical attention immediately since during the early stages, antibiotics, such as erythromycin, are effective. Cough suppressants, cough mixtures and expectorants are not helpful.

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