How to Drink Water During the Dry Heaves

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Dry heaving can be frustrating because you continue to feel sick during them.
Dry heaving can be frustrating because you continue to feel sick during them. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dry heaving, also known as retching, is defined as a contraction of the stomach that does not lead to vomiting. Dry heaves typically occur before vomiting, or afterward, when there is nothing left to throw up. It's important to drink water during when dry heaving to avoid dehydration. In some cases, hydrating yourself can even help get rid of the dry heaves.

Suck on a small ice chip every 15 minutes for one hour. Suck the first ice cube two to three minutes after a dry heave. If you start vomiting, wait 30 minutes and try again.

Take a small sip of water every 15 minutes for three hours, after you've eaten ice chips for one hour without dry heaving. Go back to sucking on ice chips if you start vomiting or dry heaving again.

Drink two to three ounces of water every 30 to 45 minutes, after an hour of drinking small sips of water without dry heaving or vomiting, until any lingering nausea has abated.

Start drinking water as you usually would.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take small sips of an oral rehydration drink to help replenish your electrolytes once you are able to tolerate small amounts of water.
  • See a doctor if you are unable to drink any water for more than 8 to 10 hours.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you vomit up blood, the dry heaving is accompanied by intense abdominal pain, you have a fever over 102.5 F or you exhibit neurological symptoms, such as confusion, muscle weakness or severe headache.

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