Can You Throw Up Poop?

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This question has often been wondered about, but very few of us actually ever decide to research it. As crazy as it might sound, it is actually possible to throw up poop.

Vomiting poop in the mouth is indeed a horrid thought, but it needs to be addressed. 

For those who are curious about the answer, the short answer is yes – it is possible to vomit fecal matter in certain circumstances.

However, before we delve into the specifics of how and why this can happen, let’s first take a closer look at our digestive system and what happens when things go wrong.

After all, understanding how our body works (and sometimes doesn’t work) is key to maintaining control over our health and well-being.

The Gastrointestinal System: An Overview

As we delve into the intricacies of our gastrointestinal system, it is important to understand its functions and how each organ contributes to the process of digestion.

One such organ that plays a vital role in this digestive process is the pancreas. The pancreas secretes enzymes responsible for breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

However, the digestive process does not solely rely on the pancreas but also largely depends on gut bacteria. These microbes play an essential part in maintaining a healthy gut environment by aiding in nutrient absorption and regulating bowel movements.

Hence, maintaining a balanced microbiome is crucial for overall health

many individuals underestimate the importance of their gastrointestinal system until they face complications like irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux. Therefore, understanding these processes can help us take control of our bodies’ wellbeing and make informed decisions about our diet and lifestyle choices.

The Role Of The Stomach And Intestines In Digestion

The stomach plays a crucial role in breaking down food into smaller pieces that can be easily absorbed by the body. Stomach acid is an essential component of this process, as it helps to break down proteins and other nutrients. However, too much stomach acid can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn or acid reflux.

Moving further along the digestive tract, we come to the intestines where intestinal bacteria reside. These bacteria play a vital role in helping us digest food and absorb nutrients from it. They also help to produce certain vitamins that are necessary for good health. However, an imbalance in intestinal bacteria can lead to various digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation.

The importance of stomach acid:

  • Breaks down proteins
  • Helps with nutrient absorption
  • Role of intestinal bacteria:
  • Aids in digestion
  • Produces essential vitamins

Nausea and Vomiting: Causes And Mechanisms

Nausea is a complex sensation that involves multiple organs in the body. To better comprehend nausea, let’s imagine being on a rollercoaster ride. The sudden movement and changes in speed create an imbalance in your inner ear fluid, which sends mixed signals to your brain.

This confusion triggers the area postrema, a small structure located in the brainstem responsible for triggering vomiting.

Vomiting prevention starts with understanding nausea triggers. Here are four ways you can avoid feeling nauseous:

  • Avoid eating large portions or spicy foods
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day
  • Take deep breaths and practice relaxation techniques when feeling anxious
  • Consult your doctor before starting new medications

Now, let’s address the question at hand: Can you throw up poop?

Can You Throw Up Poop?

While vomiting fecal matter may seem like an unlikely occurrence, it is possible under certain circumstances. Feculent vomiting as described in medical literature is a condition caused by an intestinal blockage. 

Research has suggested that the uncommon condition of vomiting stool was probably due to intestinal blockage or an abnormal intestinal contraction of the muscles.

The causes of this can range from severe gastrointestinal disorders such as intestinal obstruction or bowel perforation to underlying conditions like cancer or Crohn’s disease. In some cases, it may also be due to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure which forces the contents of the intestines up into the esophagus.

Prevention is key when dealing with vomiting fecal matter. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine can help prevent digestive issues that could lead to this condition. Additionally, avoiding excessive alcohol intake and tobacco use has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers that can cause vomiting fecal matter.

The dangers of untreated digestive issues cannot be overstated. Complications such as sepsis, organ failure, and death can occur if left untreated.

Long term effects include malnutrition, weight loss, and chronic pain. It is important to seek medical attention at the first sign of any gastrointestinal discomfort or unusual symptoms such as vomiting fecal matter to prevent these complications from occurring.

Mechanical Intestinal Obstruction 

There are several medical conditions that can lead to vomiting fecal matter. One of the most common causes is bowel obstruction, which occurs when something blocks the normal flow of waste through your intestines. This blockage can be caused by tumors, scar tissue from surgery, or even ingesting foreign objects.

This type of intestinal obstruction can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions. Some of these include: 

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a condition in which people develop abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or blood in the stool.  With longstanding uncontrolled inflammation, stricturing or narrowing of the intestine is possible, which can lead to a blockage.

Colon Cancer 

Cancer of the colon can lead to unnatural bowel movements and gastrointestinal complications.

Tumors can lead to obstruction of the colon, and eventually the stool backs up leading to feculent vomiting. 


Volvulus is the twisting of the intestine which can cause blockages and obstruction. This typically occurs in older patients with “floppy” intestines, but can also occur in younger people. 

Adhesions or Scar Tissue 

This might be caused by a previous surgery or abdominal injury. Loops of bowel can get hung up on the adhesions which can cause partial or complete bowel obstructions.   


Far more common in children, this condition occurs when the intestine telescopes into itself, which can lead to a blockage. 

Ileus or Paralytic Obstruction 

This is the second identified potential cause of blockage that could lead to people throwing up stool. Several factors can contribute to the development of an ileus:


Infections can cause a heap of internal problems. Gastrointestinal infections typically cause diarrhea, but in some cases, the bowel can slow down.  

An ileus can also develop in people who have other infections, like pneumonia or urinary tract infections.


People recovering from surgery commonly develop this condition, in which the bowels “slow down” or “go to sleep.”  

This is usually exacerbated by immobility and blood electrolyte abnormalities.


Medications can often disagree with your stomach and bowel’s natural movements.

As such, you may have reactions, blockages or other responses to your medication such as constipation. 

It’s important to take any signs of fecal vomiting seriously as they could indicate a serious health issue that requires immediate intervention.

Symptoms Of Feculent Vomiting 

We’d have to go by what others have said due to limited research and achievable tests. Third party accounts have said that they’ve experienced: 

  • Nausea and vomiting of stool
  • Foul smelling breath
  • Extreme pain in the abdomen 
  • Inability to pass gas or stool 
  • Abdominal swelling/bloating 
  • Constipation 
  • Unexplained loss of appetite 

If several of these symptoms are present, it’s best to visit a gastroenterologist immediately.

I’m Experiencing Some Of These Symptoms – What Should I Do? 

Undoubtedly you should see your doctor immediately. Some of the symptoms raised can be indicators of serious medical conditions and can be dangerous on their own anyway. 

Prevention tips include maintaining good bowel habits by drinking plenty of water, eating high-fiber foods, and avoiding constipation. Additionally, it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any concerning symptoms, such as abdominal pain or persistent vomiting.

If you do find yourself experiencing fecal vomiting, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention. Treatment options may range from enemas to surgery depending on the severity of the condition.

It’s crucial to remember that gastrointestinal issues can be serious and potentially life-threatening, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if needed.

Are There Treatments? Cures?

The treatment of feculent vomiting depends on the cause.  In cases of a mechanical blockage from an intestinal stricture, colon cancer or adhesions, surgery may be required.

In cases of a paralytic ileus, mobility, correcting electrolyte abnormalities, discontinuing any medications that may be contributing to it, and sometimes decompressing the stomach with a tube inserted through the nose can help resolve the issue.

Hospitalization will likely be required if you’re experiencing an intestinal blockage.

Treatments For Underlying Conditions 


Changing your diet and exercise regime is a great start to treating constipation.

Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake is one fantastic change to assist here. Adding fibrous foods to your daily diet will also help with constipation.

Medications you can buy at the drug store can help like fiber supplements, miralax, or milk of magnesia. Failing this, your doctor might be able to prescribe other medications. 

Abdominal Cramps 

Abdominal cramps can be treated but it is usually easier to treat if you understand why you’re experiencing these pains.

For example, if it is due to food poisoning – it is unlikely you’ll be able to keep down any medications. Therefore, you’re better off sticking to water and dry toast until you’re well enough to see a doctor. 

However, if the cramps are caused by trapped gas or foods that you have eaten – over the counter medications like Gas Ex can help with the pain and try to give you some relief and normality back. Regular exercise can also help to eliminate trapped gas – even a quick after dinner walk.

Loss Of Appetite And Weight Loss 

Unexplainable weight loss or loss of appetite would certainly require medical intervention. However, there are some things that could help.

Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the feeling of fullness and allow more calories to be consumed to help reduce weight loss.

Your doctor may also recommend nutritional supplements like Boost or Ensure to help achieve caloric and nutritional goals.

Preventing Digestive Issues And Promoting Good Health

Maintaining healthy eating habits helps to prevent digestive issues and promote good health.

A well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources like chicken or fish, and whole grains can go a long way in keeping your gut happy.

Additionally, gut microbiome balance is crucial for overall wellness. The gut microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms that play a significant role in digestion, nutrient absorption, immune system function, and even mental health.

A balanced gut microbiome supports optimal digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing bloating or discomfort.

To maintain a healthy gut microbiome, it’s important to incorporate fermented foods such as yogurt or kefir into your diet regularly. These foods contain live cultures that help populate the gut with beneficial bacteria.

Avoiding processed foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats also helps keep the microbiome flourishing.

Remember, taking control of your digestive health starts with making simple but impactful changes to your daily routine. By practicing healthy eating habits and supporting gut microbiome balance, you can prevent common digestive issues while improving overall wellness without having to worry about throwing up poop!

Feculent Vomiting Final Thoughts

Vomiting stool is rare and can result from a variety of conditions, most often involving a mechanical bowel blockage or significant motility issue.

If you are concerned you could have a bowel obstruction, see your doctor immediately!

Here are other stool-related articles:

Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Sheila Jennings

    Sheila Jennings is a 4th-year medical student and also freelances as a content writer on gut health, nutrition, and food. She lives with IBS and has learned how to keep her symptoms at bay through a healthy diet and exercise. She wants to educate others on what they can do to take back control of their gut health and live like they used to.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.