Nausea is feeling an urge to vomit. It is often called "being sick to your stomach."
Many common problems may cause nausea and vomiting, including:
- Food allergies
- Infections of the stomach or bowels, such as the "stomach flu" or food poisoning
- Leaking of stomach contents (food or liquid) upwards (also called gastroesophageal reflux or GERD)
- Medicines or medical treatments, such as cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- Migraine headaches
- Morning sickness during pregnancy
- Seasickness or motion sickness
- Severe pain, such as with kidney stones
Nausea and vomiting may also be early warning signs of more serious medical problems, such as:
- Blockage in the intestines
- Cancer or a tumor
- Ingesting a drug or poison, especially by children
- Ulcers in the lining of the stomach or small intestine
Once you and your health care provider find the cause, you will want to know how to treat your nausea or vomiting. You may need to take medicine, change your diet, or try other things to make you feel better.
It is very important to keep enough fluids in your body. Try drinking frequent, small amounts of clear liquids.
If you have morning sickness during pregnancy, ask your provider about possible treatments.
The following may help treat motion sickness:
- Lying down.
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamines, such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine).
- Using scopolamine prescription skin patches (such as Transderm Scop). These are helpful for extended trips, such as an ocean voyage. Use the patch as your doctor instructs. Scopolamine is for adults only. It should NOT be given to children.