Nausea is the sensation of uneasiness in the stomach followed by an involuntary urge to vomit, though it does not always precede [vomiting]. Nausea is a symptom of various conditions; it is not a disease. Nausea can affect both adults and children.
Symptom of other illnesses or diseases
Nausea can be symptoms of physical problems in various parts of the body.
- Abdomen. The most common abdominal illness that results in nausea is the inflammation of the intestines or [gastroenteritis]. Other common abdominal causes of nausea are the inflammation of the liver ([hepatitis] or [cirrhosis]), the inflammation of the pancreas ([pancreatitis]), [gastroesophageal reflux disease|gastroesophageal reflux], irritation or inflammation of the stomach or intestinal linings ([gastritis]), inflammation of the appendix ([appendicitis]), [Peptic ulcer|peptic ulcers], kidney stones, or kidney disease ([pyelonephritis] or chronic kidney disease)). [Indigestion] can also lead to nausea.
- Pelvic organs. Nausea can be caused by high levels of prostaglandins during [menstruation]. Nausea can also be caused by gallbladder problems such as [cholecystitis], bowel obstruction such as [constipation], [pelvic inflammatory disease], and [urinary tract infection].
- Brain. Head injuries, [stroke], infection in or around the brain such as [meningitis], [tumor|tumors] or [encephalitis], and [migraine] headaches commonly cause nausea. Nausea can also be a brain's reaction to psychological and emotional distress, pain and certain smells or odors.
- [Tainga|Inner ear]. Nausea can be caused by disorders in the inner ear such as [vertigo], the dizzying sensation of spinning or falling when one is not moving, or the perception that surrounding objects are spinning. Vertigo can also be caused by [motion sickness], inflammation of the inner ear ([labyrinthitis]), and [Pagkabingi na may kasamang Pag-ugong ng Tenga at Pagkahilo|Meniere's disease].
Nausea is also a common side effect of chemical changes within the body such as [hypoglycaemia|low blood sugar], [alcoholism|alcohol use] or drug use, alcohol or drug withdrawal, eating disorders such as [anorexia nervosa|anorexia] or [bulemia], overeating, [stress], [nervousness] and anxiety disorders. General [anesthesia] from surgery can also cause nausea.
[Food poisoning] may cause nausea and in some cases lead to vomiting after eating food contaminated with bacteria or other toxins. Nausea may start 4 to 36 hours after ingesting contaminated food.
More than half of all pregnant women experience nausea during [pregnancy]. It is commonly referred to as “morning sickness”, though it can happen at any time of the day. While it may vary from individual to individual, nausea usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy. Nausea could be caused by increased level of pregnancy hormones hCG and estrogen, increased [stress], other physical changes such as acquiring a sharper sense of smell or metallic taste, stretching of the uterine muscles and relaxation of the muscles in the digestive track due to increasing [progesterone] levels.
Some medications such as [antibiotics], [birth control pills], [:Category:Herbal medicine|herbal medicines], [chemotherapy] drugs, and [antidepressants] may cause nausea as a side effect. It can also be a side effect of [radiation therapy] and [hormone replacement therapy] among those with [menopause].
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptom of nausea [Fondue Forks is the sensation of discomfort or uneasiness followed by an urge to vomit. Sweating may sometimes accompany nausea.
Nausea that results in persistent vomiting and/or [diarrhea] can lead to [dehydration] and dangerous [electrolyte imbalances].
Diagnosis and tests
A doctor may examine a patient's medical history, which will include use of medications. He may also inquire about recent activities that may have triggered nausea, e.g. eating.
For sexually active women, a pregnancy test could be taken.
In cases of bowel obstruction, abdominal x-rays may be performed.
Other tests may include blood pressure testing, an abdominal exam, and neurological exam.
If nausea leads to dehydration and constant vomiting, a [:Category:blood tests|blood test] may be done to determine if the [electrolyte balance] has been disturbed. A [urinalysis] may also be performed to detect [ketones], a sign of dehydration.
While some cases of nausea are short-lived and do not require treatment, some treatment may be done to ease discomfort:
- Eat bland food that are simple to digest, such as saltine crackers, rice, bananas or plain bread.
- Avoid spicy, fried or sweet foods.
- Drink beverages that calm the stomach, such as hot tea.
- Drink clear beverages to avoid dehydration.
- Eat small meals so food digests gradually.
- Avoid brushing teeth right after eating.
Medications can also help ease nausea.
- [Antacid|Antacids] or [bismuth subsalicylate] coat the lining of the stomach and neutralize stomach acid.
- [Dimenhydrinate] or [meclizine hydrochloride] prevent or treat motion sickness.
Anti-nausea medicines ([antiemtic|antiemetics]) may also be prescribed. Common antiemetics are [promethazine], [prochlorperazine], [droperidol], [metoclopramide], [ondansetron] and [promethazine]. These can be administered via pill, liquid, tablets, intravenous or intramuscular injection, or rectal suppository. Women who are pregnant or suspect pregnancy should consult a doctor before taking any medication.
Episodes of nausea can be avoided or minimized via the following:
- Chew food properly.
- Avoid hard-to-digest foods.
- Eat small meals every few hours instead of three large ones.
- Avoid eating any food that smells or appears spoiled.
- Avoid unpleasant odors.
- For those prone to motion sickness, focus on a stationary object on the horizon to avoid motion sickness. Avoid reading in transit. [Over-the-counter medication|Over-the-counter medications] that prevent motion sickness may also help.
- Avoid alcohol.
Seeking Professional Help
A doctor should be contacted when nausea lasts for more than three days, sooner if nausea is associated with:
- Severe pains, such as headache or abdominal distress
- Recent head injury
- High [fever]
- Stiff neck
- Extreme weakness
- Blurred vision or eye pain
- Vomiting blood
- What are the causes of Nausea in Children?. LIVESTRONG.COM.(Accessed 19 February 2011)
- Menstrual Cramps. Center for Young Women's Health.(Accessed 19 February 2011)
- Constipation. BreastCancer.org. (Accessed 19 February 2011)
- Vertigo Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment by eMedicineHealth.com. eMedicineHealth.com.(Accessed 19 February 2011)
- Food poisoning. University of Maryland Medical Center.(Accessed 19 February 2011)
- Nausea During Pregnancy (Morning Sickness During Pregnancy) - Problems Symptoms and Solutions -- WhatToExpect.com. What to Expect.(Accessed 19 February 2011)
- Vomiting and Nausea Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on eMedicineHealth.com. eMedicineHealth.com. (Accessed 19 February 2011)
DEFAULTSORT: Nausea [Category: Symptoms]