Nausea and Vomiting

nausea and vomiting

Vomiting. It’s one of those subjects that turns people off and causes their face to contort in expressions of disgust. It’s unpleasant and revolting. It’s also something that every single person will experience more than once during their lifetime.

Nausea brings on other concerns: discomfort, the inconvenience of staying home to avoid public embarrassment, and worry that there may be something seriously wrong with your health.

What are the most common causes of nausea and vomiting? Is there anything you can do to treat it?

Fortunately, we have answers.

8 Most Common Causes of Nausea

1. Indigestion

Indigestion is pain or discomfort in the stomach after a meal. It can be caused by acid reflux, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, or inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Treatment for Nausea from Indigestion: If you suffer from chronic indigestion, you can implement lifestyle changes to decrease its frequency, such as; eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big meals; eat slowly; avoid laying down right after a meal; avoid spicy or deep fried foods; lose weightquit smoking.

2. Motion Sickness

Motion sickness occurs when your brain senses movement even though your body is not moving. This is why it often occurs when traveling, whether by car, train, plane or boat. It’s most common in children, people taking certain medications, and pregnant women. It’s also very likely to occur when people read while in motion.

Treatment for Nausea from Motion Sickness: Prior to your trip, avoid caffeine and alcohol. Once you’re in motion, close your eyes or find ways to distract yourself by listening to music or having a conversation. Drinking ginger ale can also help to settle your stomach.

3. Overeating

This one’s pretty obvious. However, living in the United States, where supersized portions are standard, it’s easy to dismiss how large some meals actually are, and attempt to polish everything off your plater. This results in consuming two or three times the amount of food the stomach can comfortably hold.

Treatment for Nausea from Overeating: Despite feeling like you’re slipping into a food coma, avoid napping. Laying down soon after a large meal makes it easier for the food to work its way back up the esophagus. Avoid sodas, the carbonation will make you feel even more bloated. Finally, go for a walk to stimulate digestion.

4. Medications

Unfortunately, nausea is a common side effect of several medications, especially chemotherapy drugs. Some anti-depressants can also cause nausea.

Treatment for Nausea from Medications: Read medication instructions carefully. Some direct you to take meds on an empty stomach, while others advise taking them with food. There are also medications that should be taken with a specific amount of water. If you’ve followed instructions and are still feeling nauseous, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss solutions or viable alternatives.

5. Pregnancy

Pregnancy makes some women feel as though they’re on top of the world. For others, it’s miserable. While morning sickness is named after a specific time of day, nausea and vomiting can linger around the clock, usually starting around the sixth week of pregnancy. Sometimes, it will come and go throughout the pregnancy.

Treatment for Nausea from Pregnancy: Stay hydrated. Pregnant women need more water than the average person since it helps the body form the placenta and amniotic sac. Get as much rest as possible: Sleep in, take time off from work, nap throughout the day. Open the windows, turn on fans, lower the AC temperature, wear light clothes… feeling hot will increase nausea. Avoid spicy foods and try not to lay down after meals.

6. Viral Gastroenteritis

Having a virus such as norovirus or rotavirus is the most common cause of the “stomach flu”. It can be contracted through contact with an infected person, or by ingesting contaminated food or water.

Treatment for Nausea from Viral Gastroenteritis: Wash your hands regularly, especially if you work with children, sick patients, or in an office where people share supplies. Get vaccinated for common viruses.  Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and replace electrolytes if you’ve already been vomiting.

7. Ulcers

Ulcers are open sores in the stomach lining. Symptoms of ulcers are hard to miss: bloating, heartburn, bloody or black stools, or a burning sensation in the abdomen (especially after drinking citrus juice, coffee, or alcohol).

Treatment for Nausea from Ulcers: In addition to taking prescribed medication, include foods rich in flavonoids in your diet: berries, green tea, red grapes, kale, and apples. Probiotics and honey will help to alleviate nausea. Ask your doctor about taking antacids.

8. Migraines

Migraines are a neurological condition that come with intense headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Signs of an oncoming migraine include seeing flashes of light, blind spots in the field of vision, or seeing an aura around objects. They can cause mood changes, constipation, and neck stiffness. Migraines can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, food additives, or certain medications.

Treatment for Nausea from Migraines: Lay down in a dark, silent room. Apply peppermint oil on pulse points. Take a ginger multivitamin. Take prescribed medication.

When to See a Doctor

Seek medical attention if any of these factors apply to you:

  • You’re an adult and have been vomiting for more than two days.
  • A child under the age of 12 vomiting for more than 24 hours.
  • Blurred vision
  • High fever
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blood in vomit

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you’re experiencing severe nausea and vomiting, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.