“GERD can cause symptoms of nausea and regurgitation of food,” says Franjo Vladic, MD. Morning nausea can make you vomit…sort of.

But do not confuse vomiting with regurgitation of food.

Of course, when you vomit, food indeed comes up, but the “regurgitation” of food that results from GERD is not a true upchucking.

A little bit of food comes up from regurgitation caused by GERD, and along with that tiny bit of food is that classic, characteristic taste of the fluid (yuck!), and sometimes a slight burning sensation.

But there are no heaves like you might experience if you’re vomiting as a result of getting sick on an amusement park ride or having eaten bad meat.

“If a patient experiences vomiting in the morning, they should seek medical attention for evaluation,” says Dr. Vladic, a board certified gastroenterologist with Center for Digestive Health and Endoscopy Center in Ohio.

So though you may experience a regurgitation of food in the morning and even feel nausea, a true situation of vomiting (emesis) is probably not being caused by GERD.

Dr. Vladic points out that vomiting in the morning can be caused by pregnancy or “delayed emptying of food from the stomach (also known as gastroparesis).”

And here’s a possible cause of morning vomiting that you probably haven’t considered: head trauma.

Were you hit in the head the day before?

If this is the cause, there will likely be other symptoms such as a headache, and the vomiting may come out in a trajectory (arc) rather than just straight down into a waste can.

Morning vomiting can also be caused by a stomach or intestinal virus.

But if you’re convinced it’s from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), you may want to purchase a wedge pillow to prop the upper half of your body up when you sleep, to prevent the horizontal position from encouraging stomach acid from making its way up your esophagus overnight.

What about colon cancer causing morning vomiting?

This is highly unlikely, especially if the emesis is ONLY in the morning. Symptoms of colon cancer are typically stomach pain, loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, unexplained fatigue, blood in the stools, tarry stools, diarrhea alternating with constipation, constipation only and pencil shaped stools.


Nevertheless, Cologuard is an easy home test for colon cancer screening. Just collect a BM sample and then mail it off.

Cologuard uses the most advanced DNA technology to identify abnormal cells in your sample.

Though Cologuard can’t diagnose colon cancer, it’s excellent for detecting suspicious cells, and from that point, your physician can recommend a colonoscopy.

If your doctor is not familiar with Cologuard, give him or her Cologuard’s number: 1-844-870-8870.

In the meantime, morning vomiting, though very unlikely caused by GERD, is something you should be evaluated for.

Dr. Vladic’s special interests include acid reflux, colitis, colon cancer, GERD, heartburn, IBS, liver disease, obesity, pancreatitis and peptic ulcer, among many others.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/michaelheim