Nausea and Vomiting—Adult
Pronounced: nah-zhuh and vah-meh-ting
by Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg, MA
Nausea is that uneasy feeling in the stomach that may make a person want to vomit. Vomiting is the act of throwing up stomach contents through the mouth.
Nausea and vomiting can easily be treated. Sometimes the symptoms will go away on their own. However, if you think the symptoms are worsening or are accompanied by other symptoms, contact your doctor.
Serious conditions that can cause nausea and vomiting include:
Other causes include:
Risk Factors TOP
Having a condition or disease that can cause nausea or vomiting is a risk factor.
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Your doctor will ask you questions, like:
He may also do a medical history and physical exam, as well as tests. Tests may include:
In some cases, you may be able to manage nausea and vomiting at home.
Strategies to Control Nausea
Strategies to Control Vomiting
Vomiting may cause you to become dehydrated. You may need to drink an oral rehydrating solution (ORS) if vomiting makes it difficult for you to stay properly hydrated.
There may be times when symptoms will need to be treated by your doctor. This may be the case if nausea and vomiting are caused by surgery, cancer therapy, pregnancy, or motion sickness. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicines to relieve the symptoms.
Some examples of prescribed medicines for nausea and vomiting include:
To help reduce your chance of experiencing nausea or vomiting, take the following steps:
American Academy of Family Physicians
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
American Academy of Family Physicians. Family Health & Medical Guide . Dallas, TX: Word Publishing; 1996.
Kuver R, Sheffield JV, McDonald GB. Nausea and vomiting in adolescents and adults. University of Washington, Division of Gastroenterology website. Available at: http://www.uwgi.org/guidelines/ch_01/ch01txt.htm . Accessed July 19, 2011.
Nausea and vomiting. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelan... . Updated December 24, 2009. Accessed July 19, 2011.
Nausea and vomiting. FamilyDoctor.org website. Available at: http://familydocto... . Accessed July 19, 2011.
Nausea and vomiting in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated April 29, 2011. Accessed July 20, 2011.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 09/26/2012