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Most people don't enjoy vomiting, but this is what it's like to have a phobia of it

Courtesy Kacie Rahm

This story originally aired on Janary 5, 2019.

When someone eats something that gives them food poisoning, they probably know it when it hits them. It usually comes with stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The lingering effects can result in a short-term lack of appetite, and perhaps the desire to avoid eating the type of food that made them sick in the first place.

Typically, everything returns to normal after a while. But for Kacie Rahm, her bout with food poisoning had some long-term consequences. In fact, for the better part of a year when she was 11 and 12, she ate hardly anything at all.

It goes back to this specific incident when, after a school lunch of turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy, she got really, really sick. And as a result of that, Kacie realized that she not only didn’t like vomiting, but she was terrified of it.

Kacie wouldn’t eat any foods that she associated with potential sickness, and would go have panic attacks at the slightest upset stomach, frightened that it would lead to throwing up.

This led to a form of anorexia. But eventually, Kacie found out that she wasn’t alone, and that the fear of vomiting was an actual phobia that a lot of people dealt with.

In this conversation, we hear how Kacie battled both anorexia and a fear of vomiting, and how she decided that she wasn’t going to let it keep her from certain life experiences.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.
Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.