Nausea is a term derived from the Greek word meaning seasickness or wamble. Alternative names include: emesis, stomach upset, and upset stomach.

These terms define the feeling of unease and a slight to severe discomfort within the upper stomach that gives the afflicted the urge to vomit, or throw up, which occurs when the body forces the contents from within the stomach.

When there is an attack of severe nausea, it is referred to a qualm. Nausea can be physical or psychological and can originate from various problems within the brain or upper gastrointestinal tract organs and can have many causes, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the actual cause of the nausea when it is prolonged.

Nausea is very common and accompanies a great many illnesses and bodily stress, and can even be caused by outside factors introduced within the body.

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Nausea often serves as an indicator that there is a condition within the body that must be paid attention to. The most common cause of nausea is usually gastroenteritis, which is a stomach infection that can be brought on by various causes.

Food Poisoning & Other Factors

There is also food poisoning that can cause severe nausea and vomiting and can present other symptoms as well. There are various medications that can cause nausea, as well as changes in the body such as pregnancy. There are various medications that can also provide relief from the symptom, with great home treatments that will allow the nausea to subside.

The true root cause of an individual’s nausea must be treated in order for true treatment of nausea. There are many medications and home treatments that will make the nausea subside, however, they won’t treat the actual illness or ailment that is causing the nausea.

There are several individuals that undergo chemotherapy or other treatments for chronic diseases, which experience a high level of severe nausea, many times inhibiting the appropriate appetite needed to heal and accept treatment. For this reason, there are several newer methods of treating the nausea and providing relief in order to properly eat and maintain a suitable nutritional level, able to accept treatment more easily.


With nausea, the symptoms vary from person to person but typically remain the same. There is a dizziness and queasy sensation. Not all nausea is accompanied with vomiting as there is some nausea that just severely affects the equilibrium and causes dizziness.

There is also nausea that can cause dry heaving, which occurs when the body is attempting to expel the stomach contents, but the force is too minimal for any more than gagging.

This also occurs when the stomach is empty and cannot dispel any contents. Nausea can also cause minor, moderate, and severe vomiting that can be long or short term. This occurs when the stomach contents are expelled with great force and can include contents and a foamy substance when the stomach is empty.

Stay Hydrated

The best thing to do when this occurs is to remain hydrated with plenty of fluids and electrolytes. Nausea is more known as a symptom of other ailments and diseases, signifying an issue that can be further evaluated.
Many of the symptoms experienced with nausea are the effects of the underlying issue.

Whether there is a disease that an individual is not yet aware of, or a bacterial infection that requires treatment, the symptoms will present themselves with the nausea, making it easier to pinpoint the cause.

Nausea, itself, is a symptom that is useful in signifying there is an issue that requires attention. Though there are many common symptoms, many people are often able to identify if there is something more serious. Symptoms include a high fever, lethargy, and other serious symptoms that signify an infection or illness of some sort. These symptoms are quite critical to the identification and proper treatment of any illnesses that may be present.


There is a broad range of causes of nausea. There were actually 700 separate listed causes in 2009. Of all the causes, there were two that were most common: gastrointestinal infections and food poisoning. Also the most common causes as they are almost guaranteed are various medications, pregnancy, and alcohol consumption.

Listed as the most common causes to occur are

  • Motion sickness and seasickness
  • First stages of pregnancy with 50% to 90% of women affected
  • Medication
  • Severe pain
  • Psychological stress
  • Food poisoning

There are also common causes like infections that include the common stomach flu, concussion, various forms of cancer, heart attack, or even overeating, or binging. There are many instances when even a foul odor or smell can cause nausea in some individuals.

Age is also an indicator of the cause of nausea. Infants often throw up when trying to expel gas or if they overeat a bit.

There are also several other causes of nausea in infants and small children

  • Viral infection
  • Food poisoning
  • Milk allergy
  • Motion sickness
  • Coughing

Determining the Cause

When seeking to determine the cause of nausea, many physicians advice to assess the timing of the symptoms in order to determine where the illness is coming from. This includes after meals which could be caused by various causes such as food poisoning and gastritis.

If there is an ulcer, meals can induce nausea as well. Bulimia is an eating disorder that is known to cause nausea after meals, as the body is accustomed to dispelling contents after eating.

There is a one to eight hour window that signifies food poisoning as the cause for nausea, but there are various bacteria that are known to cause food related nausea, such as salmonella and Escherichia coli, or E. coli, poisoning. Nausea from these sources indicates a severe illness and the afflicted should seek treatment immediately.

Choosing the Treatment

It is very difficult to conclude the cause of the nausea without evaluating the other symptoms. When there is a severe headache, it could indicate a migraine headache has caused the nausea, however there are a great many other causes that are associated with a severe headache so more evaluation is necessary.

Evaluating several different symptoms could indicate to the physician just what the cause is, but it can be highly time-consuming and sometimes very difficult. There are other causes for nausea that are easily diagnosed as they are very typical such as morning sickness and alcoholism, but if nausea persists long term, there could be underlying issues that haven’t been identified.

Many people are aware of the nausea before it precedes when they are taking medications, treatments, or consuming a substance that often makes them sick. Pregnancy is almost always sure to bring nausea with it, which is predictable by individuals who are able to get advice from their obstetrician on the appropriate measures for treatment.

Risk Factors

With nausea serving as a symptom itself, there are several risk factors associated with the many various causes. Individuals that have an uneasy stomach that is easily upset are certainly more apt for developing nausea more than those that aren’t easily upset. When medication or alcohol is concerned, those with a lower tolerance are usually more at risk for nausea from the cause than those with a higher tolerance.

When it comes to pregnancy, there is no real risk factor, as nausea from pregnancy is a good sign that the fetus is thriving properly. Improper cleansing and preparing of meals could cause more risk for nausea, as well as consumption of chemicals or substances that are unfamiliar to the body or aren’t well liked.

Cancer patients and those with chronic disease are at great risk of nausea as they will be receiving treatments that induce nausea, which is a common side effect of the treatment. These patients are made aware of these symptoms and are often provided with a medication that can assist the nausea in subsiding.

Prevention Tips

Prevention Tips for nausea

There are various medications that can prevent nausea when it is attributed to motion sickness. There are also a great deal of medications that are available to prevent vomiting as resisting the urge to vomit can prevent the nausea from continuing.

When pregnant, eating breads can prevent vomiting and allow the stomach contents to be absorbed and less irritating to the stomach.

This is also a good tip for avoiding nausea when drinking alcohol or eating foods that upset the stomach. Making sure to take medications on a full stomach can ensure that there is no nausea associated with taking them.

Test and Diagnosis Considerations

When nausea is presented, there aren’t many investigations followed if the cause seems to be more common and less serious.

There are many lab tests that may be done in order to rule out the causes of more serious illnesses and diseases as well as the introduction of bacteria. There are various considerations to keep in mind to determine if there are serious issues that need to be identified.

Such considerations include

  • Long term nausea could be an indication of pregnancy
  • Home remedies are ineffective, allowing dehydration
  • There is a known injury
  • Vomiting for more than one day and/or accompanied by diarrhea
  • Under six years of age with vomiting for over a few hours
  • Over six years of age with vomiting over one day

These considerations are indicators of a more serious illness, infection, or situation that must be acknowledged and cannot be ignored. With vomiting causing dehydration very easily, it is important to be able to address and solve any health issues at once.

If the following signs are present, you should seek medical assistance at once for proper diagnosis of the root cause for the nausea:

  • Vomit contains blood that appears bright red or like coffee grounds
  • Stiff neck accompanied by a headache
  • Signs of confusion, lethargy, or decreased alertness
  • 101 degree Fahrenheit fever or higher
  • Abdominal pain that is severe
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heartbeat, breathing, or pulse

If presented with these indicating symptoms, the health care professional will typically perform various blood tests and urine tests to identify any health issues that may be present.

These symptoms are usually accompanying a serious cause such as an infection, which can commonly be caused by bacteria that travels into the stomach and is recognized as a foreign, unwanted substance. The stomach will seek out to empty itself, which is where the vomiting and nausea occurs.

Treatment Options

There are various treatments for nausea that are effective no matter the age of the patient. Of course, it is essential to be aware of the cause of the nausea for proper treatment, otherwise, there is no real treatment and the nausea will return.

You don’t want to simply appease the nausea, you want it to go away and that means being aware of the cause as this will allow you to target the root cause in treatment. If you are experiencing nausea brought on by a common cause or a minor cause, you can try various treatments that are shown to be quite effective.

Drink plenty of clear liquids to rehydrate the body
Avoid solid food until the urge to vomit is gone
Discontinue medications with health care provider’s approval

Herbal and Home Remedies

There are several home remedies and herbal treatments for nausea. It is important to remember that nausea is a symptom of another illness which should be identified, however you can appease the symptom with various remedies.

  • Non-carbonated syrup
  • Ginger root
  • Emptying stomach through vomiting
  • Wheat germ
  • Rice water
  • Cumin seeds

You don’t have to avoid vomiting to decrease the nausea. Many times, vomiting is needed in order to eliminate the nausea that may be caused by whatever is in the stomach. Emptying the stomach is also helpful in finding the cause. If nausea continues on an empty stomach, chances are that there is a more serious issue that isn’t food related.

Various herbs are seen to have a great effect on treating nausea such as

  • Slippery elm
  • Mild tea
  • Ginger ale
  • Red raspberry
  • Herbal candles


There are many medications that can be quite inexpensive and very effective in preventing nausea and vomiting. One option that is given to those as a postoperative prevention for nausea and vomiting is Dimenhydrinate. There are many people undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer, which can cause severe nausea and vomiting.

Cannabinoids are effective in treating this nausea and allowing the appetite to increase. Zofran is an expensive choice for a medication that can eliminate nausea that is useful when treating long term nausea due to medicines or diseases.

Pyridoxine and metoclopramide are more expensive treatments for pregnant women experiencing nausea. There are various states that offer medical grade marijuana to offset the effects of cancers and other chronic illnesses.


There is no surgery needed to treat nausea, as it is a symptom of other diseases. You may require some sort of surgery to provide treatment for another type of disease or illness, but the nausea cannot be treated with any form of surgery.

Nausea is very common, and there are people everywhere that are plagued with nausea quite often. Lifestyles, diets, activities, areas, and pretty much anything else can cause nausea to come about without warning. Nausea often serves as an excellent indicator that there is something going on that may need treatment or some sort of attention.

While there are some symptoms that accompany nausea to identify any other illnesses, there are some instances when nausea is just a common result of the medications used or the change in life, like with pregnancy.

Choosing the Right Treatment

Combating nausea is a bit simple as there are several medications and home remedies that will decrease the severity and settle the stomach. Sometimes a bit of bread or crackers will do the job, but other times there is the need for more aggressive measures with medication. For pregnancy, women are more willing to take the nausea as a good sign that the baby is healthy and everything is okay.

Nausea usually subsides within a short amount of time, which is very normal and signifies there may not be anything serious going on. There are other times when the nausea may continue long term which signifies there is an issue.

There is a greater need for attention when this occurs as frequent vomiting can quickly dehydrate the body and leave more serious issues to address. There are many products available to keep the body hydrated and to replenish the electrolytes in children when there are bouts of nausea.


Nausea is not an illness so there is no specific cause. Nausea is a symptom that is accompanied sometimes by vomiting which identifies there is an issue that is causing the stomach to expel its contents. This could be from improperly cooked foods or from bacteria that has been consumed.

If in the event vomiting does occur, it is important to know that sometimes it is necessary to empty the stomach in order to get relief and to ensure that whatever is in the stomach that may be causing the issue is dispelled.




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