Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and Vomiting: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Nausea and vomiting are common and usually temporary symptoms which occur due to a wide variety of illnesses and conditions. Nausea and vomiting can be due to food poisoning, stomach flu, food allergies, motion sickness, morning sickness, migraine headaches, cancer treatments, appendicitis, dehydration, alcohol consumption, or a reaction to medication.

Common symptoms of nausea and vomiting include queasiness, lightheadedness, abdominal discomfort, and fatigue. Symptoms of more severe or prolonged nausea and vomiting may include chills, a fever, dizziness, rapid breathing, weakness, or a sudden increase in heart rate. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these additional symptoms.

The main treatments for nausea and vomiting include taking over-the-counter medications, drinking fluids, resting, and avoiding certain foods and smells which can trigger the symptoms. It is also important to determine the underlying cause so that more focused treatment can be given if necessary.

Causes of Nausea and Vomiting

The causes of nausea and vomiting can be numerous and vary according to age and other factors. Some common causes include the following:

  • Food poisoning
  • Stomach flu
  • Food allergies
  • Motion sickness
  • Morning sickness
  • Migraine headaches
  • Cancer treatments
  • Appendicitis
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Reaction to medication

Treatments for Nausea and Vomiting

There are several effective treatments for nausea and vomiting:

  • Over-the-counter medications: Anti-nausea medications, such as Pepto-Bismol, Dramamine, or Zantac, can often provide some relief from the symptoms. It is important to read the directions carefully and take the medication as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids is important in order to avoid dehydration. This includes drinking plenty of water, as well as sports drinks or other fluids which contain electrolytes.
  • Rest: Getting adequate rest is important in order to give the body the chance to recover. If you are vomiting often, it may be beneficial to sleep in a reclining position.
  • Avoid triggers: Certain smells, foods, and activities can trigger the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. It is important to identify these triggers and to avoid them when possible.

If the symptoms are severe or prolonged, it is important to seek immediate medical attention in order to determine the underlying cause. The doctor may prescribe medications or suggest lifestyle changes which can help to alleviate the symptoms.