Gag reflex with tongue and throat

Patient

Q: Dear Ask the Doctor:

I am able to trigger my gag reflex by opening the back of the throat while tensing it and rolling my tongue backwards (if that makes any sense). The gag reflex triggered seems to be much stronger than simply sticking my finger in my mouth. I have actually thrown up once after doing this.

The idea that I can trigger my gag reflex with the method I described worries me. It is very disturbing as I never knew there could be such an easy way to make myself gag/throw up like that, and I am wondering if all of this is normal. Why is my gag reflex triggered in this way, and what is causing it?

I await your answer. Thank you.
EDIT:
I am not experiencing any other symptoms; when I am not pulling my tongue back and tensing my throat (as described in the question), I feel totally fine. However, it is the principle of the matter (being able to trigger the gag reflex so easily) that is leaving me very worried.
EDIT:
I am not experiencing any other symptoms; when I am not pulling my tongue back and tensing my throat (as described in the question), I feel totally fine. However, it is the principle of the matter (being able to trigger the gag reflex so easily) that is leaving me very worried.

Symptoms:  Gagging, vomiting
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Yes, this is possible. If the tongue makes contact with the uvula in the back of your throat, the gag reflex can be triggered. It is possible that by withdrawing your throat back into the throat during this particular maneuver you described can trigger the gag reflex. If this is occurring frequently and causing you to vomit, we recommend that you have your doctor examine your throat to determine if there are any abnormalities or swelling within the throat that is triggering your gag reflex.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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