What is nausea?


Know the basics

What is nausea?

Nausea is a sensation of discomfort in the upper abdomen or the back of the throat, often accompanied by an urge to vomit. Nausea can be a side effect of some medications, or a symptom of an underlying diseases or disorders. Nausea may occur for a variety of reasons.

How common is nausea?

Nausea is a common symptom that can happen to people of all ages and genders. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of nausea?

Nausea symptoms are usually to be described holistically. Some common signs and symptoms of nausea are:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • A general feeling of being sick to one’s stomach.

In extreme cases, nausea can come along with other serious symptoms such as: chest pain, breathless, excessive sweating or fainting.

There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

In most cases, when the symptom is light and bearable, you can reduce vomiting and nausea yourself by using natural remedies such as: ginger or clear liquid diet. Remember to drink plenty of water as well. However, if the problem gets worse, such as been vomiting for longer than 24 hours, blood or coffee-colored material in the vomit or signs of dehydration, you should contact your doctor for proper medications.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best result.

Know the causes

What causes nausea?

There are many underlying causes for nausea, including

  • Allergy reactions: allergy to some kind of food or weather condition
  • Infection in digestion track
  • Intestines sickness, such as blockage, poisoning or even ulcers in the lining of the stomach or small intestine.
  • Medications or medical therapy, such as chemotherapy for cancer
  • Severe pain
  • Motion sickness.
  • Sign of natural process, like morning sickness during pregnancy.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for nausea?

There are many risk factors for nausea, such as:

  • Eating undercooked or hard-to-digest foods
  • Having certain medications triggering side effects on digesting process.
  • Gender: women are more prone to experience nausea than men because of women’s hormonal changes
  • Stress and depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is nausea diagnosed?

For normal people who does not suffer from any illness at present, there is no specific way to diagnose nausea in advance, therefore, you cannot know until you have had experience some symptoms.

For people with cancer, it is expected that you take some anti-nausea medication, called antiemetic, before chemotherapy or radiation. Antiemetics are used to block the nerve impulse that travels from the blood or stomach to the brain (where the vomiting center is located)

How is nausea treated?

The treatment for nausea depends on the root causes you have. Some common treatment can be considered as:

  • Taking over the counter medication for nausea and vomiting.
  • Drinking frequently to keep enough fluids in your body.
  • For morning pregnancy: ask your provider about available treatments and be careful because pregnancy is a special health condition and differ a lot from normal.

Remember to describe in details about your symptoms for the doctor or pharmacists in order to receive the right medication.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage nausea?

When you feel nauseated, you can help prevent vomiting by:

  • Avoid activity: Moving around can make you feel even more nauseated and lead to vomiting
  • Sit or lie down with your head prop up
  • Avoid anything that has strong odor such as food smells or perfume.

Some natural homemade remedies would help to ease the discomfort such as:

  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Acupuncture and acupressure
  • Aromatherapy

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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