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Nausea and Vomiting

Also called: Emesis

Summary

What are nausea and vomiting?

Nausea is when you feel sick to your stomach, as if you are going to throw up. Vomiting is when you throw up.

What causes nausea and vomiting?

Nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of many different conditions, including

When should I see a health care provider for nausea and vomiting?

Nausea and vomiting are common. They are usually not serious. However, you should contact your health care provider immediately if you have

  • A reason to think that your vomiting is from poisoning
  • Vomited for longer than 24 hours
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe headache and stiff neck
  • Signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, infrequent urination or dark urine

How is the cause of nausea and vomiting diagnosed?

Your health care provider will take your medical history, ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. The provider will look for signs of dehydration. You may have some tests, including blood and urine tests. Women may also have a pregnancy test.

What are the treatments for nausea and vomiting?

Treatments for nausea and vomiting depend on the cause. You may get treatment for the underlying problem. There are some medicines that can treatment nausea and vomiting. For severe cases of vomiting, you may need extra fluids through an IV (intravenous).

There are things that you can do to feel better:

  • Get enough fluids, to avoid dehydration. If you are having trouble keeping liquids down, drink small amounts of clear liquids often.
  • Eat bland foods; stay away from spicy, fatty, or salty foods
  • Eat smaller meals more often
  • Avoid strong smells, since they can sometimes trigger nausea and vomiting
  • If you are pregnant and have morning sickness, eat crackers before you get out of bed in the morning

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Living With

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Related Issues

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Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

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  • (Nemours Foundation)
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Patient Handouts