Nausea can be referred to as the uneasiness which one feels in the stomach, just before one feels the urge to vomit.
This condition can be short-lived, from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes, or can be prolonged. If it is prolonged, it is incapacitating for the person and is a signal of a more serious condition festering underneath.
The uneasiness during nausea is generally felt in the upper abdomen, chest and back of the throat.
Why does nausea occur?
Nausea that is followed by vomiting is not a disease in itself, but the symptom of an underlying disorder, which can be physical or psychological. Nausea can also be a side effect of some specific conditions, for example, chemical changes within the body. Mostly, the timing of nausea can reveal the cause.
Nausea can happen due to disorders such as:
- heart attack
- particular forms of cancer
- food poisoning
- food allergies
- gallbladder disease
- liver problems
- Gatroesophageal reflux
- viral infections
- infections of the ear
Nausea can also result from:
- brain injury
- mental and emotional stress (fear, anxiety)
- exposure to unpleasant sights or odors
It can be a side effect of:
- drinking excessive alcohol
- medications such as chemotherapy drugs and antidepressants
- low blood sugar
Depending on your medical history, and recent symptoms the doctor may advise you to undergo some tests such as blood tests, neurological tests, and also pregnancy tests if there are chances that you could be pregnant. The doctor will also check your blood pressure and do an abdominal examination if required.
For the proper diagnosis to be done, you need to mention to the doctor any emotional distress you may be experiencing, or any abnormal habits that you may have suddenly developed such as binge eating.
If you are a woman of childbearing age and are sexually active, you need to tell the doctor the last date of your menstrual period, as well as the kind of contraceptives you use, if you use any at all.
What are the complications of nausea?
Usually, nausea disappears by itself unless there is a chronic underlying condition associated with it.
Prolonged nausea and persistent vomiting could lead to:
- severe dehydration
- weight loss
- weak and brittle hair and nails
- decaying teeth
What are the symptoms of nausea?
The symptoms of nausea may vary from person to person depending on the various disorders and triggering conditions. Some associated symptoms of nausea include:
- abdominal pain
- quickening of pulse
- breathing difficulty
- Excessive sweating
What is the treatment for nausea?
In most cases, nausea resolves by itself. If treatment is required, it would be for the underlying cause of nausea.
Depending on your condition the doctor may suggest intravenous fluids, and medications to stop persistent vomiting.