Nausea & Vomiting

NAUSEA

Nausea is the feeling of stomach discomfort and a sensation of throwing up or vomiting.

It is the uneasiness that occurs in the stomach before vomiting. Vomiting is forcibly emptying the stomach, which may be voluntary or involuntary, through the mouth.  

What are the causes of nausea?

Various reasons can stem nausea. People who are sensitive to a particular motion, food or medication and the side effects of certain medical conditions can have nausea.   

Some of the common causes of nausea are as follows:

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Infection and virus

Bacteria and viruses can affect a person’s stomach and cause nausea. They are transmitted through the food and are called food-borne bacteria that cause food poisoning.  

Motion sickness  

Motion sickness can occur as a result of bumpy rides on a vehicle. This happens because the rhythm or the moment in which the vehicle moves causes the message transmitters to transmit a message to the brain and not sync up with the senses, which leads to nausea and vomiting.  

This is also common when people travel by water, it is called seasickness.

Heat burn

Heat burn can cause the stomach content to move back to the oesophagus. This backward flow of food can also be caused by gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.  

This can create a feeling of burn that results in nausea.

Medications

Certain medications can upset the stomach and trigger nausea. For example, chemotherapy is a treatment given to treat cancer that can trigger nauseating feelings. Such people are given medications that would minimise nausea caused by the treatment.  

Ulcer  

Ulcers can cause nausea. When a person has an ulcer and consumes food, it can create a burning sensation and a sudden feeling of the need to vomit.

Pain

Severe pain can contribute to nausea. This is specifically true for health conditions like pancreatitis, gallbladder stones and kidney stones.

Improper diet

Consuming spicy or high in fat foods can upset the stomach and cause nausea. A person can also feel nauseous when they consume food that is allergic to them.

Medical conditions  

Nausea can also be a symptom of various health conditions like heart attack, intestinal blocks, liver failure, migraine, ear infection, meningitis, and appendicitis concussion.

What are the symptoms of nausea, and how can we identify them?  

Symptoms of Nausea

Nausea is a sensation or an urge to vomit. The nauseating feeling can be acute or prolonged.  

Both prolonged and acute feelings may require treatment. The body may exhibit a few symptoms like

  • Headache  
  • Fever  
  • Gas formation  
  • Vomiting  
  • Dizziness  
  • Lightheadedness  
  • Diarrhoea and
  • Abdominal pain

Went to visit a doctor?

Immediate medical assistance is required if nausea is accompanied by various other symptoms relating to other health conditions like a heart attack.  

Along with nausea, symptoms like severe headache, mouth pain, swelling or pain in the left arm must be treated immediately.

Seeking immediate attention is required if nausea is experienced with a stiff neck, breathlessness or mind fog.  

A doctor’s help is required if nausea has left a person unable to eat or drink for more than one day. Also, medical supervision is mandatory if nausea doesn’t subside within a day of trying over-the-counter medication.  

Always seeking medical help is useful, especially in an emergency situation.

How can nausea be treated?  

Treatment for nausea is based on the cause of the underlying condition.  

Sitting in a different position of a moving vehicle may avoid motion sickness. Few medications can relieve seasickness. Keeping the body hydrated and minimising dehydration will make nauseating feelings subside.  

Nausea is always a disturbing feeling the stomach gives. It may be triggered by a virus or a health condition and, at times, by an unpleasant odour.

Some of the most common ways to get rid of nausea or as follows;

Sitting up

During our childhood, we might remember our elders telling us not to lie down immediately after a meal.  

They hit the bull’s eye with the fact. When a person lies down on a flat stomach, gastric juices rise and increase the feeling of nausea. It creates discomfort for people.  

Here people with acid reflux can experience severe discomfort.  

Crunching the stomach will also have the symptoms of nausea as crunching will compress the area and make the person feel comfortable.  

Reclining the upper body as much as possible can reduce the nauseous sensation.

Fresh air

Fresh air will ease nauseating symptoms of body heat for most people.  

This cure is unknown, but it simply gets rid of the sickening orders and helps the mind divert to something else from the feeling of nausea.  

Cool compress 

Cold Compress on the back of the neck will help subside nausea. When the nausea is caused due to rise in body temperature, a cool compress can come in handy.  

Breathing exercise

Breathing exercise for Nausea and Vomiting

Practicing breathing exercises and meditation can help calm the mind and also relieve nausea. It is a relaxation technique that will be beneficial for nausea that is caused by anxiety or stress.

Deep breathing is an exercise that a person can adapt to fight against nausea and stress-related health condition.  

A person can inhale slowly through their nose, hold their breath for three seconds, and slowly breathe out.  

A simple procedure repeated several times can curb nausea symptoms.  

Applying pressure

Applying pressure is an alternate medical therapy called acupressure, where a professional would apply pressure to specific areas of the body to ease symptoms.  

For nausea, the pressure point is on the inner wrist, and to ease the symptoms, a professional presses this pressure point in circular motions for a specific period of time.  

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea has been used for centuries as a remedy for nausea. It has sedative properties that can help a person fall asleep.  

Chamomile tea also helps ease anxiety.  

Lemons

Lemon contains citric acid. Citric acid is a naturally occurring element believed to help with digestion and ease the stomach.  

If constipation causes nausea, drinking warm water with lemon juice can stimulate the bowels.  

Many people believe that even the scent of elements can cure nausea.  

Ginger

For centuries most people have believed ginger is the best natural home remedy for nausea.  

People consume a small piece of fresh ginger to help with nausea. They may also drink ginger tea for digestion.  

Peppermint

Peppermint is a good choice to fight nausea caused by chemotherapy treatment. Peppermint capsules can be consumed, or peppermint tea is another choice to experience the effective benefits of the ingredient.

Eliminating carbonated drinks

Many people, especially in India, believe that consuming carbonated beverages like cola or ginger ale helps tame the stomach problem.  

This is the exact opposite of the truth. Carbonated drinks will cause heavy bloating and worsen the acid reflux, which may cause nausea. Apart from that, most fizzy beverages are packed with sugar which can also cause discomfort to the gut.

Bland meal

When a person follows a bland diet, it will help them relieve nauseating symptoms and prevent the worsening of the condition.  

The most recommended diet for nausea is the BRAT diet.  

BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

In this diet, a person can consume small portions of plain pasta, baked potatoes, scrambled eggs or hard boil eggs.  

It is important to eliminate dairy products, fried food, and foods high in fibre until the health condition improves.  

Medication

When a person exhibits severe symptoms of nausea, they may require an OTC medication. OTC stands for over-the-counter. These medications help soothe the gut.

Under medical supervision, OTC medicines can be consumed.  

Went to consult a doctor?  

When the body exhibits other symptoms along with nausea, it may indicate a serious health condition.  

For example, nausea with chest pain is a commonly exhibited symptom of a heart attack.  

Headache and nausea may indicate neurological problems.  

In such cases, it is better to consider a doctor if these episodes of symptoms are displayed often.  

Immediate medical help is required if a person has nausea and  

  • Abdominal pain  
  • Chest pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Fever  
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache  
  • Confusion  
  • Dehydration  
  • Weakness
  • Dark urine  
  • Dry mouth and  
  • Excessive thirst.  

How long does nausea last?

Usually, if it’s caused by food poisoning, motion sickness, or other viral illnesses, nausea is short-lived.  

Acute nausea doesn’t last for more than a few hours and usually goes away on its own.  

However, if it is caused due to an underlying disease or health condition nausea can occur frequently.  

Such nausea goes away only if the underlying health condition is treated.  

Prevention of nausea

Eliminating nausea triggers can help prevent the onset of the health condition.  

This includes excluding

  • Sea voyages
  • Strong odour  
  • Heat  
  • Humidity  
  • Flickering lights or  
  • Other factors that can trigger migraine.  

Taking medication under proper medical guidance before a journey can prevent motion sickness.  

Having adequate sleep plays an important role.  

Changing eating habits and consuming small frequent meals can help reduce the symptoms of nausea. Avoiding foods that are spicy and are high in fat is recommended. Avoiding caffeine and dairy products will also impact reducing the triggers.  

Performing physical activities can also contain the symptoms.  

Apart from this, the above-mentioned factors can also help combat nausea or its symptoms.  

If nausea is left and treated, it can further lead to other complications like

  • Damaging the food tube  
  • Dehydration and  
  • Tooth decay.  

When it comes up, the stomach acid can damage the tube called Oesophagus. Sometimes the reflux can be severe, and the oesophagus will start bleeding.  

Excess vomiting can cause the body to lose essential water, leading to dehydration.  

The acid in the vomit will corrode the tooth enamel and eventually may lead to tooth decay.  

To sum up

Most of the time, nausea is temporary and may not require serious medical assistance, but it may still lead to vomiting.  

Home remedies and over-the-counter medications can be helpful.  

Vomiting reduces nausea or makes it go away. Yet vomiting will cause dehydration.  

It is important to visit a doctor and get proper medical treatment if the dehydration is persistent for more than a day and also if a person is exhibiting severe symptoms of nausea for a long period of time.  

FAQ  

1.What is nausea a symptom of? 

Nausea is not a disease itself but is a symptom of various health conditions or infections like  
· Stomach flu  
· Motion sickness  
· Overeating  
· Food poisoning  
· Sickness  
· Blocked intestine  
· Brain injury  
· Concussions  
· Appendicitis or  
· Migraine.

2.What helps to feel nauseous?

Things that may improve nauseous feeling are
· Not laying down on stomach  
· Getting fresh air  
· Breathing exercises  
· Applying pressure  
· Cold compress  
· Hydration chamomile tea  
· Ginger  
· Lemon  
· Peppermint  
· Over-the-counter medications and  
· B6 vitamin.

3.What helps get rid of nausea fast?  

There are various ways to cure nausea.  
Some of the ways nausea can be treated are by consuming medication, drinking peppermint tea, lemons, Vitamin B6 supplements, over-the-counter medicines, and eliminating spicy or fatty food.

4.How long does nausea usually last?  

Nausea can be acute or chronic. Acute nausea will last for just a few hours and maybe caused due to food poisoning, motion sickness, or other viral infections.  
 It usually goes away within a day, whereas chronic nausea is caused due to an underlying health condition that requires treatment.  
 Such nausea occurs as episodes and will continue to appear until the underlying health condition subsides.  

5.When should I be concerned about nausea?

If a person has nausea for more than one day and is unable to consume food or drinks, it is important to consult a doctor.  
 Over-the-counter medications may or may not help. Seek proper medical attention that will cure the underlying problem and provide relief.  

6.Is nausea during pregnancy a good sign?  

Nausea during early pregnancy or the first trimester might be a good sign as it indicates a lower risk of miscarriage than women who do not exhibit such symptoms.  
However, it is important to consult a doctor to know about the exact symptoms and individual exhibits.  

7.What can I do to help with nausea?  

When a person is trying to contain the symptoms of nausea, they need to
· Stay away from cold drinks  
· Consume light food  
· Follow the BRAT diet  
· Find distractions  
· Get fresh air
· Do physical activities and  
· Hydrate themselves.

8.What can I do if some smell causes nausea? 

A strong odour makes a person feel nauseated. They can
chew peppermint, move away from the place that triggers the smell, and  
treating the underlying cause of the symptom by visiting a doctor.

9.How is vomiting treated?  

  Treating vomiting involves  
· Drinking large amounts of clear liquids for an extended period of time  
· Avoiding solid food  
· Oral rehydration and  
· Medications.

10.How do I prevent vomiting once I feel nauseated?  

Eliminating cool drinks, following the BRAT diet, eliminating fried or spicy food, consuming smaller meals frequently, and proper hydration may help prevent vomiting when a person is feeling nauseated


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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