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 are symptoms caused by a condition or disease. Many illnesses can cause nausea and vomiting, like:
Serious conditions that can cause nausea and vomiting include:
Other causes include:
Having a condition or disease that can cause nausea or vomiting is a risk factor.
In some cases, you may have other symptoms in addition to nausea and vomiting.
If you have any of these symptoms, call for medical help right away:
You will be asked the following questions:
A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
The doctor uses a hand-held instrument called a transducer, which uses sound waves to make images of your abdomen.
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In some cases, you may be able to manage nausea and vomiting at home.
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 medications to relieve the symptoms.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
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 December 18, 2014.
Nausea and vomiting. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/nausea-vomiting.html. Accessed December 18, 2014.
Nausea and vomiting in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 29, 2014. Accessed December 18, 2014.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Daus Mahnke, MD