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Nausea

Nausea is an uncomfortable feeling of sickness, which may be accompanied by a gurgling or swirling sensation in the stomach. This condition is often mild and clears up on its own accord, but can be brought on by medication which may be imperative your health.

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  • Prevents nausea
  • Stops vomiting
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What is nausea?

Nausea is a general feeling of sickness or queasiness which can affect anybody. It can be a condition in and of itself or be accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, dry mouth, pale complexion, dizziness, clamminess or chills.

The mechanism of nausea - that is to say the biological functions which cause nausea - are not specifically known, though it is believed that a number of pathways are activated which can result in the sensation of nausea or induce vomiting. These pathways include the central nervous system, the chemoreceptor trigger zone (vomit centre of the brain), vestibular apparatus in the inner ear, and peripheral pathways around the gastrointestinal tract.

For some, nausea is mild and goes away on its own. Other people may experience frequent or severe nausea. The severity and duration of nausea is dependent on a persons sensitivity and condition.

While the feeling of nausea can go away on its own, it can cause vomiting. Being sick can relieve the sensation of nausea, but should not be induced using food, medicine or manual stimulation of the gag reflex without strict guidance from a healthcare professional. Inducing vomiting can seriously damage your throat and lead to further complications.

If your nausea causes you to vomit, you should rinse your mouth with water and rest. It is important to keep hydrated after vomiting by drinking plenty of fluids, such as water or fruit juice which is high in electrolytes. Try to eat something when you feel you are able to.

If the nausea you experience is severe, accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhoea or dizziness, doesn't stop after 2 days, or if it reoccurs on a regular basis, arrange an appointment to see your GP to determine its cause and discuss an appropriate course of action to treat and prevent your nausea.

While nausea is often a mild symptom, it can be an accompanying symptom of something more serious. Dial 999 or get to your nearest casualty department if your nausea is accompanied by:

  • Blood in your vomit
  • Chest pain
  • High temperature (fever)
  • Stiff neck
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Sudden, severe headache unlike any previous headache

Emergency treatment should also be sought if you suspect you have ingested something poisonous which may have caused your nausea.


What can cause nausea?

There are a number of potential causes of nausea, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety, fear and stress
  • Diseases, infections or viruses
  • Food intolerances (commonly lactose and gluten)
  • Food poisoning
  • Medicines (side effects)
  • Migraines
  • Motion sickness
  • Pregnancy (morning sickness)
  • Recent surgery
  • Severe pain
  • Strong odours

It's important to note that not everyone will experience nausea in response the same stimuli. As such, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of your nausea, which is why you should discuss the potential causes with your GP.

While certain stimuli, such as food intolerances, strong odours and alcohol, can be managed, other causes of nausea can be much harder to control. The feeling of sickness, which can sometimes be attributed to specific medicines, can be harder to manage, as it is often not appropriate to simply stop taking a certain medicine.

In some cases, nausea can be idiopathic. This means that there is no clear cause for the nausea, but this doesn't imply that a cause cannot be found in the future.


How is nausea treated?

Depending on the severity of the nausea, there are different treatments which can be used. The NHS suggests a number of ways of helping to reduce the feeling of nausea, such as:

  • Distracting yourself
  • Drinking peppermint or ginger tea
  • Eating foods containing ginger
  • Eating small meals regularly
  • Sipping fizzy drinks

If you are feeling nausea, you should avoid:

  • Consuming alcohol
  • Drinking in large quantities
  • Eating or cooking strong smelling food
  • Eating spicy, fried or greasy food
  • Eating too quickly
  • Lying down after a meal
  • Wearing clothes which are tight around your waist or tummy

While foods and drinks which induce nausea can be easily avoided, drug induced nausea, where nausea is listed as a side effect, can be harder to treat. For these challenging cases, further medicine can be prescribed to counter the side effect.

If your medicine is causing you to be nauseous, your doctor may be able to alter your dose or change your treatment to one which is less likely to cause nausea. Reducing doses or changing treatments are not always a possibility, thus you should speak to your doctor to discuss your options.

Never alter your dose or abruptly stop your prescribed treatment without explicit consent from your doctor. Stopping a course of treatment suddenly can cause nausea - either as a withdrawal symptom or a symptom which the medicine was originally treating.

For serious causes of nausea, or instances of nausea which are caused by medicine, your GP may recommend an anti-emetic (anti-sickness) to reduce your feeling of nausea.


Can I buy treatment for nausea online?

Treatments for nausea can bought online. Prescription Doctor offers treatments for general nausea and motion sickness.

Before buying medicines online, it is strongly encouraged to speak to your GP about your symptoms and to determine the right course of treatment for you.


Table of contents

What is nausea?

What can cause nausea?

How is nausea treated?

Can I buy treatment for nausea online?

Sources

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/feeling-sick-nausea/