Nausea Risk Factors, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment


Early pregnancy, concussions, the stomach flu, and many other diseases can cause nausea and vomiting as symptoms. Both adults and children can experience nausea, which can be treated in a variety of ways. Light, bland food and ice-cold beverages might also be helpful.

 Nausea and vomiting can be signs of many different illnesses, such as appendicitis, migraines, food poisoning, motion sickness, overeating, blocked intestines, disease, concussion or brain damage, and infection ("stomach flu"). Vomiting and nausea are occasionally symptoms of more serious illnesses, including heart attacks, liver or kidney problems, anomalies of the central nervous system, brain tumours, and some forms of cancer.

An uncomfortable sensation in the stomach known as nausea commonly precedes the desire to vomit but does not necessarily cause vomiting. The act of consciously or involuntarily forcing stomach contents up via the mouth is known as vomiting. Head injury, brain infections, tumours, and migraine headaches are a few of the stimuli that may produce vomiting, as are the inner ear (dizziness and motion sickness), the brain, and the stomach and intestines).


Vomiting and nausea can have similar underlying causes. The causes of nausea are numerous. Common reasons include:

  • Motion sickness, including that from the sea
  • Young pregnancy
  • Sharp pain
  • The presence of chemical poisons
  • Stress on the soul (fear)
  • Gallbladder illness
  • Vomiting from food
  • Indigestion
  • Numerous viruses
  • Certain fragrances or scents

Age-related differences exist in the causes of vomiting. Adults who vomit often have a viral infection, food poisoning, and on rare occasions, motion sickness or diseases that are associated with a high temperature. Vomiting is frequently brought on in children by viral infections, food poisoning, motion sickness, overeating or overfeeding, coughing, and conditions when the child has a high temperature. Vomiting can result from clogged intestines, but this is uncommon.

Although vomiting is typically not harmful, it might indicate a more serious condition. Serious conditions that might cause nausea or vomiting include, for instance:

  • Concussions
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Appendicitis
  • Head pain from migraines
  • Brain cancer
  • Dehydration is another issue with vomiting. 

Due to their ability to recognise the signs of dehydration, adults have a lesser chance of being dehydrated (such as increased thirst and dry lips or mouth). Children are more likely to get dehydrated than adults, especially if vomiting and diarrhoea coexist. This is because young children are frequently unable to communicate their dehydration symptoms to adults. The following obvious indications of dehydration should be recognised by adults caring for unwell children:

  • Rapid breathing or heartbeat
  • Parents should watch for reduced urine in newborns as well as a sunken fontanelle (soft place on the baby's head).
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Recessed eyes

Risk Factors

Both toddlers and adults might experience nausea and vomiting. Cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy have a higher risk of experiencing nausea and vomiting. First-trimester pregnant women may also have morning sickness, which is characterized by nausea and vomiting. According to estimates, 25 to 55 per cent of pregnant women have vomiting and 50 to 90 per cent of them experience nausea.


The initial reason for nausea or vomiting could be clear. Vomiting or nausea that occurs soon after a meal may be a sign of a peptic ulcer or a mental illness. One to eight hours after a meal, nausea or vomiting may signify food poisoning. Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses may take longer to manifest symptoms due to their prolonged incubation periods.

If nausea persists for more than a week or if pregnancy is the cause, the person should see a doctor. Vomiting may be handled at home and often becomes better within six to 24 hours.

If home remedies are ineffective, you are dehydrated, or a known injury (such as a head injury or illness) is causing your symptoms, you should consult a doctor.

Visit the doctor with your young child or newborn if:

  • Vomiting lasts for several hours or longer
  • There is also diarrhoea.
  • Symptoms of dehydration appear
  • A temperature of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit is present.
  • The child has not had a urinal in six hours.

Visit a doctor with your child if they are above 6 years old if

  •  They have one day's worth of vomiting
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea linger for more than 24 hours.
  • Dehydration symptoms are present.
  • A fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit is present.
  • The child has not had a urinal in six hours.
  • If vomiting lasts more than a day, if diarrhoea and vomiting last longer than 24 hours, or if there are symptoms of mild dehydration, adults should see a doctor.


Please consult a doctor if any of the following warning signs or symptoms appear:

  • Blood in the vomit ("coffee grounds" appearance)
  • Stiff neck or a severe headache
  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Decreased vigilance
  • Intense stomach discomfort
  • Fever exceeding 101 degrees Fahrenheit and vomiting
  • There is both diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Rapid breathing or heartbeat


You may stop feeling queasy by:

  • Replacing three major meals with several smaller ones throughout the day
  • Eating slowly avoiding meals that are difficult to digest
  • Avoiding nausea from the scent of hot or warm meals by eating cold or at room temperature
  • Resting after meals and putting your head 12 inches or more above your feet also assist to lessen nausea.
  • If you have morning sickness, eat a few crackers before getting out of bed or a high-protein snack (lean meat or cheese) before retiring for the night.
  • To avoid dehydration, sip liquids between (rather than during) meals and consume at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Try to eat once you feel less nauseous.


There are numerous methods for controlling or alleviating nausea; nevertheless, if these do not appear to help, consult your doctor.

When attempting to manage nausea:

  • Drink clear or cold beverages.
  • Consume bland, light meals (such as saltine crackers or plain bread).
  • Do not eat anything fried, fatty, or sugary.
  • Eat more frequently at smaller, slower-paced meals.
  • Eat cold and hot meals separately.
  • Savour your drinks gently.
  • Avoid exercise just after a meal.
  • After eating, avoid cleaning your teeth.
  • In order to receive enough nutrients, choose foods from all the food categories that you can handle.

Regardless of age or the cause, treatment for vomiting includes:

  • Progressively increasing the number of clear liquids you consume
  • Avoid solid meals until the bout of vomiting has subsided
  • Resting
  • Removing all oral medications for a while

Complications of Nausea

Dehydration can happen as a result of persistent vomiting and diarrhoea. Younger children or anybody with severe dehydration may require more vigorous therapy.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 17, 2023

Next review due: Mar 17, 2025

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