Nausea and Vomiting-Cause, Treatment, Prevention

Overview Overview Overview

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms that we all have experienced in our lives. They can occur in both children and adults. Although found in many people, this condition is more common among pregnant women and women receiving cancer treatment. In fact, nausea and 50% additional vomiting affect 70-80% of the pregnant population.

What are nausea and vomiting?

Nausea is the discomfort of a depression in the stomach with the urge to vomit. Vomiting is the involuntary or spontaneous excretion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Vomiting is not only the result of stomach problems, but can also be caused by the inner ear (dizziness and motion sickness) and the brain (head trauma, brain infections, tumors, migraines).

There is a difference between nausea and vomiting. The sensation is described as nausea, and the act of throwing the contents into the stomach causes vomiting. One does not have to always come with the other.

When to see a doctor

The timing of the two symptoms may indicate the cause. You can find a rough guideline outlined below. If these symptoms occur within an hour of eating food, the underlying condition may be a dietary order or peptic ulcer. Up to 8 hours after eating, it can mean food poisoning. Other food-borne diseases, such as Salmonella, may be incubated longer before they manifest themselves as symptoms.

Most adults experiencing these symptoms should feel free from them in a day. Consider consulting your doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a week, if you are pregnant, or if you have a known head injury. In most cases, you can treat at home, but if treatment at home does not work, see your doctor.

Children under the age of 6 are advised to see a doctor if:

  • Vomiting lasts for more than a few hours
  • diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • Heat over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Do not urinate for more than 6 hours

Here are some guidelines for children over 6 years old:

  • Vomiting lasts one day
  • 24 hours diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • Heat over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Do not urinate for more than 6 hours

You can ignore the above guidelines if you notice any of the following symptoms: These indicate that the condition is urgent and immediate action is needed.

  • Vomiting blood
  • Lethargy
  • confusion
  • Severe headache or stiff shoulder
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Rapid breathing


The causes of these symptoms vary, but here is a list of common causes.

  • Motion sickness
  • Early pregnancy (50-90% nausea, 25% -55% vomiting)
  • Side effects of the drug
  • Severe pain
  • Food poisoning
  • Emotional stress
  • Stomach cold
  • Gallbladder disease
  • overeating
  • Response to a specific odor
  • Brain injury

The most common causes depend on age. For children, viral infections, overeating, food poisoning, motion sickness, coughing, and high fever illnesses can all be the root causes. However, in adults, the most common are viral infections, food poisoning, or motion sickness.

In rare cases, vomiting can be a more serious symptom. These are not common and it is better to consult your doctor for a formal diagnosis.

  • Concussion
  • encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Brain tumor
  • Migraine
  • appendicitis


Regardless of the cause, the following methods can be used to treat nausea and vomiting. Talk to your doctor if they don’t seem to help.

Nausea control

If you start feeling nausea, the first thing you should do is start eating small meals slowly throughout the day. Make sure your diet is high in protein. Can include foods such as cheese, lean meats and nuts (before bedtime). Keep your food bland, as spicy foods can further confuse your stomach. Cold drinks are preferred over hot drinks. Find a period when nausea is not at its peak and then try eating. Please raise your head after eating.

Control of vomiting

Drinking water is very important because dehydration is a serious concern when it comes to vomiting. Your body loses a lot of water, especially if vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea. Non-acidic fruit juices and other high-sugar liquids are also useful. Ginger ale and ginger help calm your stomach. Avoid solid foods and keep your diet as conservative as possible until symptoms appear. Your doctor may prescribe an antiemetic to relieve vomiting.


To find the cause of nausea and vomiting, doctors may perform a physical examination that involves several clinical tests. The most common cause of these symptoms is gastroenteritis.


How to prevent nausea

Prevention of nausea primarily involves lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and reducing consumption of alcohol and other substances. This reduces the risk of alcohol poisoning. When it comes to diet, eating a smaller, evenly spaced diet that is balanced with all the major nutrients should bring you a lot of benefits. Drinking water between meals rather than during meals may also help.

If motion sickness is common, there are over-the-counter medications to prevent motion sickness.

How to prevent vomiting if you already have nausea

If you are already nauseous, try to minimize your activity level as it can cause vomiting. Instead of lying down, rest upright until your symptoms subside. Slow intake of water and other sweet liquids (fruit juice instead of oranges) can help calm the stomach.


Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms, are almost harmless, and may not require you to go to the hospital. Dietary management and rest are the two most important things to do during this period. Dehydration is a major concern, so keep drinking water. Talk to your local doctor only if these symptoms persist.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the complications that can result from persistent nausea and vomiting?

Prolonged periods of these symptoms can cause severe dehydration. These conditions can be exacerbated if the person is already dehydrated.

  1. Can I use a hydrate?

Dehydration is a concern during vomiting. If you have severe dehydration, re-nourishing your body with an electrolyte solution is not harmful.

  1. How to prevent motion sickness?

Sit in a place where you cannot see the movement, ideally away from the window, as it can cause motion sickness in the face of fast movements. Reading and playing games on the phone can also increase the risk of motion sickness.

  1. What are dehydration symptoms?

The main symptoms are thirst, dry lips, and mouth. This is especially important to look for in children as they may not be able to tell you it. Another identification of dehydration in children is the time they are not urinating.

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