Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of many different conditions, including early pregnancy, concussions and the stomach flu. Happening in both adults and children, there are many ways to relieve nausea. Drinking ice-cold beverages and eating light, bland foods can help.
Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but rather are symptoms of many different conditions, such as infection (“stomach flu”), food poisoning, motion sickness, overeating, blocked intestine, illness, concussion or brain injury, appendicitis and migraines. Nausea and vomiting can sometimes be symptoms of more serious diseases such as heart attacks, kidney or liver disorders, central nervous system disorders, brain tumors, and some forms of cancer.
The causes of vomiting differ according to the clinical presentation. It varies from simple causes like food poisoning and side effects of medicines. Serious conditions like viral hepatitis, cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and intestinal obstruction may also be responsible for nausea and vomiting. The causes of nausea and vomiting are quite similar. Many things can bring on nausea. Some common causes are:
Usually vomiting is harmless, but it can be a sign of a more serious illness. Some examples of serious conditions that may bring on nausea or vomiting include:
Another concern with vomiting is dehydration. Adults have a lower risk of becoming dehydrated because they can usually detect the symptoms of dehydration (such as increased thirst and dry lips or mouth).
There are several ways to control or relieve nausea; however, if these techniques do not seem to ease the queasiness, talk to your doctor.
When trying to control nausea:
Treatment for vomiting (regardless of age or cause) includes:
If vomiting and diarrhoea last more than 24 hours, an oral rehydrating solution should be used to prevent and treat dehydration. As the treatment for nausea and vomiting include finding the cause of nausea and vomiting, you should meet the doctor
Resting after eating and keeping your head elevated about 12 inches above your feet helps reduce nausea. If you feel nauseated when you wake up in the morning, eat some crackers before getting out of bed or eat a high protein snack (lean meat or cheese) before going to bed. Drink liquids between (instead of during) meals, and drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration. Try to eat when you feel less nauseated.
Vomiting can be prevented by consuming small amounts of clear, sweetened liquids such as soda pop, fruit juices (except orange and grapefruit because these are too acidic) and popsicles. Drinks containing sugar calm the stomach better than other liquids. Rest either in a sitting position or in a propped lying position. Activity may worsen nausea and may lead to vomiting. For children, control persistent coughs and fever with over-the-counter medicines. To treat motion sickness in a car, seat your child so that he or she faces the front windshield (watching fast movement out the side windows can make the nausea worse). Limit snacks, and do not serve sweet snacks with regular soda pop. Don’t let your kids eat and play at the same time. Encourage them to take a break during their snack time.
Nausea and vomiting lasting for more than a day needs medical attention to find the cause. Consulting a gastroenterologitst is the way to go. The timing of the nausea or vomiting can indicate the cause. When it appears shortly after a meal, nausea or vomiting may indicate a mental disorder or a peptic ulcer. Nausea or vomiting one to eight hours after a meal may indicate food poisoning. Foodborne diseases, such as Salmonella, may take longer to produce symptoms because of the incubation time. You should see your doctor if home treatment is not working, dehydration is present, or a known injury (such as head injury or infection) is causing the vomiting.
Take your child over 6 years old to the doctor if:
Adults should consult a doctor if vomiting occurs for more than one day, if diarrhea and vomiting last more than 24 hours, and if there are signs of moderate dehydration. You should see a doctor immediately if the following signs or symptoms occur:
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