Nausea and vomiting can occur in both children and adults. People who are undergoing cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, have an increased risk of nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women in their first trimester may also experience nausea and vomiting, commonly referred to as "morning sickness." It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women experience nausea, while 25 to 55 percent experience vomiting.
If you feel nauseated when you wake up in the morning, eat some crackers before getting out of bed or eat a high protein snack (lean meat or cheese) before going to bed. Drink liquids between (instead of during) meals, and drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration. Try to eat when you feel less nauseated.
Vomiting can be prevented by consuming small amounts of clear, sweetened liquids such as soda pop, fruit juices (except orange and grapefruit because these are too acidic) and popsicles. Drinks containing sugar calm the stomach better than other liquids. Rest either in a sitting position or in a propped lying position. Activity may worsen nausea and may lead to vomiting.
For children, control persistent coughs and fever with over-the-counter medicines. To treat motion sickness in a car, seat your child so that he or she faces the front windshield (watching fast movement out the side windows can make the nausea worse).
The timing of the nausea or vomiting can indicate the cause. When it appears shortly after a meal, nausea or vomiting may indicate a mental disorder or a peptic ulcer. Nausea or vomiting one to eight hours after a meal may indicate food poisoning. Foodborne diseases, such as Salmonella, may take longer to produce symptoms because of the incubation time.
A person who is experiencing nausea should consult a physician if it lasts more than one week, and if there is a possibility of pregnancy. Vomiting usually lessens within six to 24 hours, and may be treated at home.
The timing of the nausea or vomiting can indicate the cause. When appearing shortly after a meal, nausea or vomiting may be caused by food poisoning, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), an ulcer, or bulimia. Nausea or vomiting one to eight hours after a meal may also indicate food poisoning. However, certain food- borne bacteria, such as salmonella, can take longer to produce symptoms.
Usually, vomiting is harmless, but it can be a sign of a more serious illness. Some examples of serious conditions that may result in nausea or vomiting include concussions, meningitis (infection of the membrane linings of the brain), intestinal blockage, appendicitis, and brain tumors.
Treatments for nausea and vomiting depend on the cause. You may get treatment for the underlying problem. There are some medicines that can treatment nausea and vomiting. For severe cases of vomiting, you may need extra fluids through an IV (intravenous).
Nausea can stem from a variety of causes. Some people are highly sensitive to motion or to certain foods, medications, or the effects of certain medical conditions. All these things can cause nausea. Common causes of nausea are described below.
Motion sickness and seasickness can result from a bumpy ride on a vehicle. This movement can cause the messages transmitted to the brain to not sync up with the senses, leading to nausea, dizziness, or vomiting.
Seek immediate medical help if your nausea is accompanied by heart attack symptoms. Heart attack symptoms include crushing chest pain, an intense headache, jaw pain, sweating, or pain in your left arm.
Changes to your eating habits, such as eating small, frequent meals, can help to reduce nausea symptoms. Avoiding intense physical activity after meals can also minimize nausea. Avoiding spicy, high-fat, or greasy foods can also help.
Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, is one of the largest and most respected hospitals in the United States and a leader in research, education, and health information. Their website offers information about the causes and treatment of nausea.
MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It offers information about the causes and treatment and nausea.
Nausea is a non-specific symptom, which means that it has many possible causes. Some common causes of nausea are gastroenteritis and other gastrointestinal disorders, food poisoning, motion sickness, dizziness, migraine, fainting, low blood sugar, anxiety, hyperthermia, dehydration and lack of sleep. Nausea is a side effect of many medications including chemotherapy, or morning sickness in early pregnancy. Nausea may also be caused by disgust and depression.
Gastrointestinal infections (37%) and food poisoning are the two most common causes of acute nausea and vomiting. Side effects from medications (3%) and pregnancy are also relatively frequent. There are many causes of chronic nausea. Nausea and vomiting remain undiagnosed in 10% of the cases. Aside from morning sickness, there are no sex differences in complaints of nausea. After childhood, doctor consultations decrease steadily with age. Only a fraction of one percent of doctor visits by those over 65 are due to nausea.
Gastrointestinal infection is one of the most common causes of acute nausea and vomiting. Chronic nausea may be the presentation of many gastrointestinal disorders, occasionally as the major symptom, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, functional dyspepsia, gastritis, biliary reflux, gastroparesis, peptic ulcer, celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, Crohn's disease, hepatitis, upper gastrointestinal malignancy, and pancreatic cancer. Uncomplicated Helicobacter pylori infection does not cause chronic nausea.
Food poisoning usually causes an abrupt onset of nausea and vomiting one to six hours after ingestion of contaminated food and lasts for one to two days. It is due to toxins produced by bacteria in food.
Many medications can potentially cause nausea. Some of the most frequently associated include cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens for cancer and other diseases, and general anaesthetic agents. An old cure for migraine, ergotamine, is well known to cause devastating nausea in some patients; a person using it for the first time will be prescribed an antiemetic for relief if needed.
Nausea or "morning sickness" is common during early pregnancy but may occasionally continue into the second and third trimesters. In the first trimester nearly 80% of women have some degree of nausea. Pregnancy should therefore be considered as a possible cause of nausea in any sexually active woman of child-bearing age. While usually it is mild and self-limiting, severe cases known as hyperemesis gravidarum may require treatment.
While most causes of nausea are not serious, some serious conditions are associated with nausea. These include pancreatitis, small bowel obstruction, appendicitis, cholecystitis, hepatitis, Addisonian crisis, diabetic ketoacidosis, increased intracranial pressure, spontaneous intracranial hypotension, brain tumors, meningitis, heart attack, rabies carbon monoxide poisoning and many others.
Research on nausea and vomiting has relied on using animal models to mimic the anatomy and neuropharmacologic features of the human body. The physiologic mechanism of nausea is a complex process that has yet to be fully elucidated. There are four general pathways that are activated by specific triggers in the human body that go on to create the sensation of nausea and vomiting.
Signals from any of these pathways then travel to the brainstem, activating several structures including the nucleus of the solitary tract, the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, and central pattern generator. These structures go on to signal various downstream effects of nausea and vomiting. The body's motor muscle responses involve halting the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, and in fact causing reversed propulsion of gastric contents towards the mouth while increasing abdominal muscle contraction. Autonomic effects involve increased salivation and the sensation of feeling faint that often occurs with nausea and vomiting.
Taking a thorough patient history may reveal important clues to the cause of nausea and vomiting. If the patient's symptoms have an acute onset, then drugs, toxins, and infections are likely. In contrast, a long-standing history of nausea will point towards a chronic illness as the culprit. The timing of nausea and vomiting after eating food is an important factor to pay attention to. Symptoms that occur within an hour of eating may indicate an obstruction proximal to the small intestine, such as gastroparesis or pyloric stenosis. An obstruction further down in the intestine or colon will cause delayed vomiting. An infectious cause of nausea and vomiting such as gastroenteritis may present several hours to days after the food was ingested. The contents of the emesis is a valuable clue towards determining the cause. Bits of fecal matter in the emesis indicate obstruction in the distal intestine or the colon. Emesis that is of a bilious nature (greenish in color) localizes the obstruction to a point past the stomach. Emesis of undigested food points to an obstruction prior to the gastric outlet, such as achalasia or Zenker's diverticulum. If patient experiences reduced abdominal pain after vomiting, then obstruction is a likely etiology. However, vomiting does not relieve the pain brought on by pancreatitis or cholecystitis.
It is important to watch out for signs of dehydration, such as orthostatic hypotension and loss of skin turgor. Auscultation of the abdomen can produce several clues to the cause of nausea and vomiting. A high-pitched tinkling sound indicates possible bowel obstruction, while a splashing "succussion" sound is more indicative of gastric outlet obstruction. Eliciting pain on the abdominal exam when pressing on the patient may indicate an inflammatory process. Signs such as papilledema, visual field losses, or focal neurological deficits are red flag signs for elevated intracranial pressure. 59ce067264