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Nausea is an uncomfortable sensation in the stomach that is often accompanied by the urge to vomit. It can occur in both children and adults and is often accompanied by cramps, fever, sweating, and dizziness.

In most cases, nausea is not serious and goes away within a day or two. However, sometimes nausea can be a symptom of various conditions such as pregnancy, concussion, food poisoning, or stomach ulcers. Nausea and vomiting can also be symptoms of more serious illnesses such as a heart attack, kidney or liver disorders, central nervous system disorders, brain tumors, or certain forms of cancer. Nausea often occurs without warning, disrupting the daily routine and activities.

The medical team at Puls Go Center for quick diagnostics and care can help you when you experience nausea as well as other symptoms such as headache, vomiting, fever, or infection.


What is nausea?

Nausea is discomfort in the stomach and a feeling of the urge to vomit. It has various causes and can often be prevented with appropriate measures. Nausea often precedes the act of vomiting, expelling the contents of the stomach.


The difference between nausea and vomiting

Nausea can lead to vomiting, but it is not always the case. A person can experience nausea without vomiting. Vomiting is the voluntary or involuntary expulsion (“throwing up”) of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. A person who is vomiting may or may not experience nausea.


Who can experience nausea?

Pregnant women – Pregnant women in the first trimester can experience nausea and vomiting, commonly referred to as “morning sickness,” although it can occur at any time of the day. It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women experience nausea, and 25 to 55 percent experience vomiting.

Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy – People undergoing treatment for cancer have an increased risk of experiencing nausea and vomiting.

Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders – Nausea can be associated with injuries, food poisoning, viral and bacterial infections, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Individuals with certain neurological conditions – Nausea often accompanies individuals with neurological conditions such as brain injuries, meningitis, migraines, and other related disorders.

Individuals with inner ear disorders – Inflammation of the inner ear, Meniere’s disease, and infections can cause nausea.


Symptoms and causes

The time it takes for nausea and vomiting to occur can indicate their cause. When they occur shortly after a meal, nausea (often accompanied by vomiting) can indicate a mental disorder or a peptic ulcer in the stomach or duodenum. Nausea and vomiting occurring one to eight hours after a meal may indicate food poisoning. Foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella, can cause symptoms much later due to the incubation period.

Causes of nausea

The causes of nausea and vomiting are quite similar. Many things can cause nausea. Some common causes include:

  • Early pregnancy
  • Severe pain
  • Exposure to chemical toxins
  • Emotional stress (anxiety)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Food poisoning
  • Poor digestion
  • Various viruses
  • Certain smells
  • Medications
  • Migraines and other neurological conditions
  • Motion sickness and other motion-related illnesses

Symptoms of nausea

  • Feeling of discomfort in the stomach
  • Increased saliva production
  • Cold sweat
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dry mouth


Symptoms of chronic nausea:

  • Persistent feeling of urge to vomit
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unpleasant sensation in the chest, upper abdomen or back of the throat

Diagnostics and tests for nausea

The diagnosis and testing for nausea depend primarily on the symptoms. The doctor will first focus on identifying any urgent signs or complications that may require hospitalization. Then, they will pay attention to identifying the underlying cause through appropriate diagnostics.

Medical history and physical examination – Taking a comprehensive medical history and conducting a physical examination can often be sufficient in determining the cause of nausea and vomiting. The doctor will pay attention to signs of dehydration and changes in the skin. They will then determine the cause of nausea based on its intensity, duration, timing throughout the day, associated stomach or chest pain, headaches, vomiting (including vomiting blood or dark material). It is also important to consider the medications the patient is taking and whether they have recently traveled or if other individuals in their environment have similar symptoms, which may indicate food poisoning or an infection. Additionally, a pregnancy test may be performed for women.

After the clinical assessment of the patient, the doctor decides if further testing is necessary.

Blood tests – Basic blood tests will detect most inflammatory, metabolic, and neoplastic disorders (cancer development). The tests should include a complete blood count, multiple biochemical analyses, serology for celiac disease, H. pylori breath test, measurement of C-reactive protein, thyroid-stimulating hormone, calcium levels, blood sugar, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Further investigations, such as upper endoscopy or computed tomography of the abdomen, should be determined by clinical suspicion based on complete history and physical examination.


Some X-rays and a scanner can help diagnose the cause of nausea.

An ordinary x-ray of the abdomen can show obstruction of the colon, injury, or rupture of the intestine.

Endoscopy and colonoscopy can detect abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract such as reflux, ulcers, and polyps.

Abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging method used to examine the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas, and detect changes such as fatty liver, gallstones, polyps, and tumors.

Abdominal CT scan: This is indicated for serious organic diseases such as liver dysfunction, Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, liver and pancreatic malignancies, kidney conditions, etc.

Patients with neurological symptoms may require a CT or MRI scan of the brain to evaluate for possible tumors or degenerative or inflammatory changes.

Abdominal MRI: It is generally not necessary for evaluating patients with nausea unless further assessment of a lesion detected by ultrasound or CT scan is required.

Color Doppler examination of the head and neck: This can detect narrowing of blood vessels (carotid arteries) that often contribute to nausea.

Neurological examination: It is recommended for patients with severe headaches, dizziness, and often includes diagnostic tests such as color Doppler examination of neck blood vessels and CT scan of the head.

Managing and Treating

There are several ways to control or alleviate nausea; however, if these tips do not relieve the symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor. When attempting to manage nausea:

– Drink clear or icy beverages in small sips.

-Eat light, dry foods (such as saltine crackers or plain bread). Avoid fried, fatty, or sweet foods. Do not mix hot and cold foods.

-Avoid physical activity after meals.


In case nausea leads to vomiting, it is also important to:

-Gradually drink larger amounts of clear fluids.

-Avoid solid foods until vomiting subsides.


When to see a doctor

Persistent or intense nausea that does not pass is the reason for going to the doctor as soon as possible. If it is accompanied by symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, high fever, dehydration, chest pain, rapid pulse, urgent medical help should be sought.

You should also visit your doctor if home remedies are not providing relief, if dehydration is present, or if a known injury (such as a head injury) or infection is causing the vomiting.

Furthermore, individuals experiencing nausea for more than a week should seek medical attention. Vomiting typically subsides gradually within six to 24 hours and can be treated at home. If vomiting, along with nausea, persists for more than one day, it is recommended to see a doctor.

What you can do in the meantime

– Take fluids to avoid dehydration

– Consume smaller and lighter meals

– Avoid triggers of nausea (strong odors, spicy foods)

– Drink ginger tea, the most effective natural remedy for nausea

How is nausea treated?

Medications (antiemetics) – Antiemetics are various groups of drugs that reduce nausea and prevent vomiting. Their use is particularly important as an adjunct to chemotherapy.

Therapies (acupuncture, relaxation techniques) – Acupuncture and acupressure are two techniques commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for nausea and vomiting. During acupuncture, a therapist inserts thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupressure aims to stimulate the same points on the body but uses pressure instead of needles. Both techniques stimulate nerve fibers that transmit signals to the brain and spinal cord, thereby reducing nausea.

Slow, deep breathing can also help alleviate nausea, and aromatherapy (such as using peppermint) can have a similar effect.

Muscle relaxation techniques can help relieve nausea. One technique that people have used to achieve this effect is known as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), based on the simple principle of tensing and relaxing large muscle groups. This technique is particularly recommended for individuals undergoing chemotherapy.

Prevention of nausea

Adherence to a balanced diet: Nausea can be prevented by following these tips:

– more often taking small meals during the day instead of three large meals

– you should eat slowly and avoid hard-to-digest foods

– consume cold or room temperature meals to avoid nausea from the smell of hot food.

– rest after eating and keep your head elevated about 30 centimeters above the level of your feet to help reduce nausea.

-morning sickness will be relieved by a few salty crackers

– always eat during the day when you feel less nauseous or do not have it at all.

Maintaining hydration – Drink fluids between (instead of during) meals). It is necessary to consume six to eight glasses of water daily to prevent dehydration.

Stress and anxiety management Techniques that can help you remove the stress (meditation, aromatherapy) that causes nausea will help you calm down and avoid nausea.

Carefully following medication instructions – If you are prescribed medications for nausea, it is crucial to adhere to the doctor’s instructions for their use. Never take them without proper guidance.


Prognosis / Perspective


Factors affecting recovery

Like with most conditions and illnesses, the recovery depends on the underlying cause, in this case, nausea. Nausea resolves by addressing or treating its underlying cause. The recovery from nausea also depends on the person’s age and overall health condition.

Expected recovery timeframes for various causes of nausea

Nausea and vomiting in adults are usually not indicative of anything serious. They typically last only one or two days.

However, nausea can be a symptom of many other conditions. In rare cases, it can be a sign of a serious or life-threatening health problem.

Any nausea that persists for more than seven days requires a medical evaluation.


The importance of following medical advice and treatment plans

Depending on the cause of nausea, a treatment plan and medical advice will be determined that the patient should adhere to. Managing nausea and vomiting will help you feel better and prevent more serious problems such as significant weight loss and dehydration.

In preventing nausea, medications called antiemetics may be involved, which are effective in preventing or reducing various types of nausea and vomiting. The medication is taken at a specific time to prevent and/or control symptoms of nausea and vomiting.


Life with nausea

Self-help tips for managing nausea – There are practical steps that can help prevent or alleviate nausea, such as avoiding fatty and spicy foods, odors that trigger nausea, and immediate meals after chemotherapy (in the case of someone undergoing chemotherapy). It is advisable to consume enough fluids (juices, tea, water). Ginger and mint tea can be particularly helpful in relieving nausea.

Resting is important, especially in the case of vomiting. Avoid drinking during mealtimes. Instead, drink 30-60 minutes before or after meals. Avoid lying flat for at least one hour after a meal or snack. If you feel better at a certain time of day, plan your meals for that time.

Adjusting daily activities and routines – Since antiemetics can cause drowsiness, patients should consult their doctor about when to take the medication. It’s also important to make sure to eat when you feel best. Find time for relaxation, listening to music, and meditation. Never leave the house on an empty stomach, as it can worsen nausea symptoms.


When to seek additional medical help

If therapy and self-help tips have not provided sufficient relief from nausea, it is important to consult a doctor. It may be necessary to adjust or change the treatment plan and introduce additional techniques to help alleviate symptoms.

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Puls Go, a medical center, enables rapid diagnosis and treatment of emergency cases.


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