What is nausea?
Nausea is stomach discomfort and the sensation of wanting to vomit. Nausea can be a precursor to vomiting the contents of the stomach. The condition has many causes and can often be prevented.
Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but symptoms of many different conditions, such as infection (“stomach flu”), food poisoning, motion sickness, overeating, intestinal disease, concussion or brain injury, appendicitis, and migraines.
What is the difference between nausea and vomiting?
It is an upset stomach that is often accompanied by a desire to vomit but does not always lead to vomiting. Vomiting is the forced or involuntary emptying of stomach contents through the mouth (“vomiting”). Some of the triggers for vomiting are the stomach and intestines (infection, injury, and irritation from food), inner ear (dizziness and motion sickness), and brain (head injury, brain infections, tumours, and migraines).
Who is most likely to experience nausea and vomiting?
These occur in children and adults. People who undergo cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, have an increased risk of vomiting. Pregnant women may also experience vomiting during the first trimester, which is commonly known as “morning sickness.” It is estimated that 50 to 90 per cent of pregnant women experience nausea, while 25 to 55 per cent experience vomiting.
Symptoms of vomiting
It is difficult to explain to most people. It can be very uncomfortable, but not painful, and can be felt in the back of the throat, chest, or abdomen. The feeling is associated with an aversion to food or the desire to vomit. When the body is ready to vomit, the following sequence can occur:
- Relaxation of the muscular network between the esophagus and the stomach.
- The abdominal muscles and the diaphragm contract.
- Close the trachea (larynx).
When a person vomits, the contents of the stomach are expelled through the esophagus and mouth.
As a result of these bodily actions, you may experience recoil when you feel nauseous. Recovering the rhythmic contractions of the respiratory and abdominal muscles that occur without your control. Excessive sweating sometimes causes nausea.
Causes for nausea or vomiting
Both are not diseases, but they are symptoms of several conditions:
- Motion sickness or dizziness.
- Drug-induced vomiting
- Severe pain
- Emotional stress (such as fear)
- Gallbladder disease
- Infections (such as “stomach flu”)
- Eat excessively
- Reaction to certain smells or odours.
- Heart attack
- Concussion or brain injury
- Brain tumour
- Some forms of cancer
- Bulimia or other mental illnesses
- Gastroparesis or slow bowel movements (a condition seen in people with diabetes).
- Ingestion of toxins or large amounts of alcohol.
- Intestinal obstruction
The causes of vomiting vary with age. Vomiting is common in children with viral infections, food poisoning, milk allergies, motion sickness, overeating, coughing or blocked bowel movements, and high fever in children.
Vomiting may indicate a temporary cause. When it appears shortly after a meal, this is caused by food poisoning, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), ulcer, or bulimia.
To determine what’s causing your nausea, your doctor will take your medical history, ask you about your symptoms, and conduct a physical exam. They will also look for signs of dehydration and may administer some tests, including blood, urine, and possibly a pregnancy test.
How is nausea treated?
Treatment depends on the cause
Taking medication can also help address the underlying cause of nausea. Examples of stomach acid reducers or pain relievers for severe GERD headaches.
Staying hydrated can help reduce dehydration after nausea has worn off. This includes taking small, frequent sips of clear liquids such as water or a drink that contains electrolytes.
When you start to reintroduce food, following the BRAT diet (banana, rice, apple, and toast) will help you until your stomach is more stable.
It doesn’t always require treatment, but sometimes treatment can help. There are several things you can do on your own to help:
- Drink beverages to ease your stomachs.
- Avoid caffeine coffee and tea.
- Drink clear liquids to prevent dehydration (if vomiting is associated with nausea).
- Eat small, frequent meals to help your stomach digest food gradually.
- Eat foods like digestible blockers or bread without butter, rice, chicken soup, and bananas on your stomach.
- Spicy and fried foods should be avoided.
- Some over-the-counter medicines can help relieve nausea.
A solution of chewable or liquid antacids, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) or glucose, fructose, and phosphoric acid (Emetrol). These medications help by coating the stomach lining and neutralizing stomach acid.
If you feel nauseous, there are several prescription medications available to relieve nausea. Most medications have side effects. Pregnant women should be evaluated by a doctor before taking any medication.
In addition to medical treatments, some home remedies can relieve nausea. In addition to:
- Ginger. A traditional remedy for nausea and cramps, ginger regulates your body’s prostaglandins. Try ginger tea or lozenges.
- Mint. Peppermint extract also helps reduce prostaglandins, which can reduce nausea. Most people use peppermint aromatherapy or drink peppermint tea.
- Fennel. The anti-inflammatory properties of soap help reduce pain and nausea during menstruation. You can take fennel in capsules, tea, or tincture.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon contains a compound called eugenol, which suppresses prostaglandins. Reduces bleeding, and pain.
- Controlled breathing. Deep breathing exercises can help relax muscles and reduce nausea.
It can be prevented by:
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
- Eat slow
- Avoid digestible foods
- Eat foods that are cold or at room temperature to avoid nausea from the smell of hot or warm foods.
- Resting after eating and keeping your head 12 inches above your feet can help reduce nausea.