Feeling nauseous is when your stomach has an uneasiness.  It can feel as though you need to vomit, though vomiting doesn’t always go along with feeling nauseous. 

Nausea is usually a symptom of something rather than a condition itself.  It can happen to anyone, children or adults.  It is usually not serious and passes with time, but it could be a symptom of an underlying condition. 

 

Symptoms & Warning Signs

Nausea usually makes you feel sick to your stomach. 

You may also feel weakness, sweating, buildup of saliva, or the urge to vomit. 

If your nausea is accompanied with other things you may need to seek medical attention:  

  • If nausea is brought along with heart attack symptoms, such as chest tightness, or shortness of breath. 
  • If you are also experiencing severe headache, stiff neck, difficulty breathing, confusion, lethargy, confusion, diarrhea, or rapid breathing. 
  • Signs of dehydration can be very serious.  If you are unable to eat or drink for 12 hours or your nausea lasts longer than 24 hours. 

Nausea may last longer if due to food poisoning, but if it is the stomach flu nausea should only last about 24 hours. 

 

Causes of Nausea

There are lots of causes of nausea. 

About 90% of women who are pregnant say they experience nausea during pregnancy

Motion sickness, medications, intense pain, emotional stress, gallbladder disease, food poisoning, infections like stomach flu, overeating, heart attack, reaction to smells, concussion, brain tumor, ulcers, cancer, appendicitis, bowel obstruction, indigestion, heartburn or GERD are all causes of nausea. 

Conditions that could cause nausea are benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo, ear infections, heart attacks, intestinal blockage, liver failure, liver cancer, meningitis, and migraines.  

 

Treatments for Nausea

Treatments depend on the cause of the nausea.  There are some over the counter options that can help alleviate your nausea.  Medicines like Pepto-Bismal, motion sickness medications, or chewable or liquid antacids.  Aloe Vera can also help settle a stomach.

If you are feeling nauseous it is a good idea to rest.  Too much movement can make your nausea worse. 

Make sure you stay hydrated.  Drink cold, clear liquids.  Carbonated beverages or sour beverages may help as well.  Ginger ale, lemonade, water, or mint tea may all help alleviate some discomfort.  Make sure you drink small sips, drink slowly.  Pedialyte can help make sure you don’t dehydrate. 

Stay away from triggers.  Some triggers may be strong odors, stuffy rooms, heat, humidity, flickering lights, or driving. 

Eat bland foods that are easily digestible.  Foods such as rice, crackers, toast, apple sauce, or bananas.  When you have seen you are able to keep these foods down you can switch to fruits, salty foods, high protein foods, or high-carbohydrate foods.  It may be good to avoid fatty and spicy foods.  Don’t combine hot and cold foods when eating. 

Avoid brushing your teeth, which may cause you to gag, which could cause you to have nausea or vomit. 

Avoid hard to digest foods, like high fiber foods, alcohol, coffee, dairy foods, acidic foods, or corn.  If you suffer from nausea you will want to eat slowly, eat small meals, and rest after eating with your head elevated above your feet. 

 

Takeaway

Nausea shouldn’t last long.  It usually resolves on its own depending on what the cause of the nausea is. 

If there are any complications or warning signs present with your nausea make sure you call your doctor immediately. 

If your child is nauseous and vomiting, watch for signs of dehydration, lethargy, or sunken eyes. 

Preventing nausea can be hard in some cases, but eating small meals, drinking slowly in between meals, and avoiding foods that are difficult to digest.  Avoiding triggers may help as well such as strong odors, stuffy room, heat, humidity, flickering lights, or driving.  Avoid sea voyages if you have motion sickness. 

 

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