Does MorningThrowing up Yellow Liquid Mean Pregnancy?
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The morning vomits are often on an empty stomach (fasting). That’s why people vomit yellow bitter liquid. So the yellow vomit in the morning is either:
- Stomach juice (empty stomach is not empty but contains a mixture of secretions (stomach acid, mucus, and digestive enzymes), forming a yellowish stomach juice.
- Bile: It is secreted from the liver through the biliary ducts into the duodenum. In some people, bile may reflux back up to the stomach to be vomited as yellowish fluid. The condition is known as bile reflux gastropathy.
Throwing up yellow bitter liquid in the morning can be a symptom of early in pregnancy. However, You should consider other causes such as acute gastroenteritis, gastritis, stomach ulcers, and Acid reflux attacks.
The most common causes of morning vomiting of yellow acidic liquid are:
- Early pregnancy.
- Acute gastroenteritis.
- Foodborne illness (food poisoning).
- GERD (chronic acid reflux).
- Gastritis or peptic ulcer disease.
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome.
- Psychological stress as anxiety and depression.
- Female hormonal disturbances: as with premenstrual syndrome, ovulation, hormonal contraception, etc.
- Taking medications that induce nausea and vomiting.
1. Does morning vomiting of yellow bitter liquid mean early pregnancy?
Morning nausea and vomiting are common among females in the early stages of pregnancy. Some women may present with nausea and/or vomiting as the first sign of pregnancy.
In this section, you will learn the characteristics, risk factors, and symptoms suggestive of early pregnancy if you have morning nausea and/or throwing up.
Here are some facts about nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy(reference):
- Up to 90% of pregnant women experience nausea and/or vomiting during early pregnancy (it can be the first sign of pregnancy).
- Onset is typically in the 5th to the 6th week of pregnancy.
- The peak of nausea and vomiting is often around the 9th week of pregnancy.
- Nausea and vomiting often get better by the 16th to the 18th week of gestation.
- In 80% of the cases, the symptoms are persistent throughout the day, but the throwing up can also occur in the morning (you may throw up yellow stomach juice or bile because of fasting).
So, throwing up yellow acidic liquids in the morning can signify early pregnancy.
Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting can be (reference):
- Mild to moderate: often a single or intermittent attacks of nausea and throwing up. These attacks are often called (morning sickness); however, studies show that 80% of pregnant women experience the symptoms throughout the day and not only in the morning (reference).
- Severe (Hyperemesis Gravidarum or HG): It is an extreme form of pregnancy-related vomiting. HG leads to persistent throwing up and nausea multiple times a day and may cause serious complications if not treated.
Symptoms suggestive of pregnancy-related vomiting:
- The onset of nausea and throwing up is related to a missed period (amenorrhea).
- Assisted breast tenderness and enlargement.
- Lower abdominal discomfort or pain.
- Nausea (either in the morning or throughout the day).
- Morning throwing up of a yellow bitter liquid due to fasting.
- Increased frequency of urination.
- Mood changes due to hormonal changes.
- Light spotting.
- Food aversions (becoming more sensitive to certain foods or food odors).
- Nasal congestion.
Learn more about the symptoms of early pregnancy.
How to confirm early pregnancy:
Pregnancy is often confirmed with a pregnancy test (urine or blood). It can also be confirmed by visualizing the pregnancy sac by abdominal ultrasound imaging.
- Blood tests (serum HCG): this is accurate and can detect early pregnancy as early as two weeks after conception (before the first missed period).
- Urine tests are often at-home pregnancy tests that you can order online or from the nearest pharmacy. Urine tests can detect pregnancy as early as two weeks after conception or at the time a period is due. However, they are less accurate than blood tests.
2. what are the other causes of throwing up bile (especially in the morning.
Often consider other causes of the early morning throwing up, especially if you don’t have symptoms or criteria for early pregnancy.
Morning vomiting of yellow bitter liquid (bile or stomach acid) can be a sign of acute infection (gastroenteritis or food poisoning) or a gastroesophageal disease (such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, or acid reflux).
The most common causes include:
A. Acute viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
Acute gastroenteritis is one of the most common infections worldwide in children and adults.
The main cause of acute gastroenteritis is often viral (norovirus and rotavirus). Acute gastroenteritis is often acquired by contact with an infected person or food (fecal-oral route of infection).
Waking up in the morning with an abrupt onset of nausea, vomiting (of yellow fluid or food), and stomach cramps can signify an attack of acute gastroenteritis.
Consider gastroenteritis if you suddenly experience severe morning nausea and vomiting without chronic or recurrent stomach issues.
Other symptoms of acute viral gastroenteritis include:
- Acute onset diarrhea (usually watery and yellow).
- Diarrhea often lasts for a few days (2-5 days) but may last longer.
- Abdominal cramps (usually at the lower abdomen).
- Anorexia (loss of appetite).
- Nausea or vomiting (if vomiting occurs on an empty stomach, you may throw up yellow liquid as in the morning)
- Fever is usually present (often of low grade). However, the fever may be unnoticeable (only a cold sensation or sense of fatigue, or muscle aches).
B. Other forms of gastroenteritis and Foodborne illness (food poisoning).
1. Bacterial Gastroenteritis.
Bacteria leads to a more severe form of diarrhea. The most prevalent organisms that cause bacterial gastroenteritis include (reference):
- Salmonella species (typhoid fever).
- Clostridium perfringens (foodborne).
- Campylobacter species.
- Staphylococcal aureus (foodborne).
- E. Coli species.
Most cases of bacterial gastroenteritis (GE) are foodborne. And bacteria is the most frequent cause of food poisoning.
Food poisoning may cause severe persistent vomiting that may end in throwing up stomach acid or bile (in the form of yellow liquid).
The onset is often sudden, as you may wake up in the morning with throwing up, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
The symptoms are typically more severe than viral gastroenteritis:
- The diarrhea is severe, non-stop. Bloody and mucoid diarrhea are common.
- Tenesmus (an urge to poop, but only mucus or scanty stool comes out).
- The fever is high grade.
- Vomiting is more common and severe.
- More severe systemic illness (headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and dizziness).
2. Protozoal & other types of gastroenteritis.
Parasites can also cause severe forms of diarrhea. However, except for giardiasis, most protozoal infection doesn’t cause significant vomiting.
The most common organisms are (reference):
- Toxoplasma Gondii.
- Cryptosporidium species.
- Entamoeba Histolytica (causes dysentery rather than diarrhea).
The symptoms of protozoal infections are similar to that of viral diarrhea. Giardiasis can cause severe diarrhea and throwing up. In addition, it can cause fat malabsorption, yellow diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
C. GERD (especially with hiatal hernia).
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (chronic acid reflux) is chronic esophageal inflammation due to the regurgitation of stomach acid into your esophagus.
One of the common causes of gastroesophageal reflux is a hiatus hernia. A hiatus hernia is the protrusion of a part of your stomach from into your chest through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm.
GERD symptoms often worsen when you lie down (as the reflux increases during sleep). So, GERD may cause nighttime or early morning nausea and throw-up (yellow liquid).
Symptoms of Acid reflux and GERD (reference):
- Heartburn: burning feeling in your chest (behind the breastbone).
- Regurgitation of acidic fluid or food particles into your throat, particularly during sleeping and in the morning.
- Vomiting (may result in yellow fluid if you vomit on an empty stomach as in the morning vomiting).
- Sometimes, trouble swallowing.
- Cough, bad mouth odor.
- Raspy voice or sore throat.
Acid reflux is usually treated with medications that decrease gastric acidities, such as Proton Pump inhibitor (Prilosec and Nexium) and H2 blockers (Famotidine).
C. An attack of gastritis or PUD.
Gastritis (stomach inflammation) and peptic ulcer disease (ulcers in the stomach or duodenum) are two very common diseases that may cause vomiting and nausea.
Faulty eating habits (as with fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods), Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and H. Pylori infections are the most common causes of gastritis and PUD.
Patients with gastritis and peptic ulcer disease typically experience recurrent epigastric (upper stomach) pain.
However, gastritis and ulcers may present with severe attacks of vomiting and nausea (even on an empty stomach). This is particularly common among non-compliant people on
Symptoms suggestive of gastritis or peptic ulcer disease (reference):
- Upper stomach pain is sharp and continuous in the form of heaviness or gnawing.
- Related to meals: the pain usually starts shortly after meals (especially heavy or fatty meals).
- The pain can be referred to as the upper-middle back.
- Associated with nausea, lost appetite, or vomiting.
- Vomiting can be severe, occurring on an empty stomach (vomiting yellow bitter liquid) and with or without eating (even in the morning). In severe cases, an ulcer can occur (peptic ulcer).
- Gastritis can be chronic (the pain comes and goes for long periods) or acute (with sudden sharp upper abdominal pain).
- Patients with peptic ulcer disease have the same symptoms but:
- Nausea and vomiting are more common.
- Bleeding ulcers can lead to the vomiting of blood (hematemesis).
- Bleeding can also occur without vomiting blood. The presentation may be dark tarry stools (melena).
- Also, the bleeding can be scanty over long periods. This leads to anemia (with fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath).
- Medications: The most common medications that may cause vomiting of yellow liquid are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, chemotherapy, digoxin, and some antihypertensive medications.
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome.
- Gallbladder Conditions such as gallstones, acute cholecystitis, and functional gallbladder diseases.
- Female hormonal disturbances: Before and during the period (premenstrual syndrome), ovarian cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome, ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, etc.
- Psychological conditions: As with extreme stress, anxiety, depression, fear, and eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulemia Nervosa.
- Pancreatitis (acute and chronic).
- Gastric outlet obstruction.
- Intra-abdominal tumors (such as stomach and pancreatic cancer).
- Diabetic gastroparesis (lazy stomach).
- Diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Kidney stones (severe pain from the stone may lead to persistent vomiting on an empty stomach).
- Acute renal failure
- Intestinal obstruction
- Acute hepatitis
- Extremely painful conditions
- Endocrinal diseases such as hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Addison’s disease.
- Acute intermittent porphyria
- Post-operative abdominal pain and vomiting
- Heart attack (acute coronary syndrome)
- Familial Mediterranean fever
- Hypervitaminosis (excess vitamin supplementation).
3. When to see a doctor?
See a doctor if:
- The vomiting is persistent for more than a day.
- Recurrent attacks of unexplained vomiting.
- Severe upper stomach pain with throwing up.
- Severe abdominal tenderness.
- Vomiting of blood or coffee-ground substances.
- Passage of blood or black stool.