Nausea is a sick feeling in the pit of your
stomach. When you are nauseated, you may feel weak and sweaty and have too much
saliva in your mouth. You may even vomit. This forces your stomach contents up
your esophagus and out of your mouth. Most of the time,
nausea and vomiting are not serious. Home treatment will often help you feel
Nausea and vomiting can be a symptom of another illness.
Nausea and vomiting may be caused by:
Illness caused by a virus, such as viral stomach
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and
arrange for care.
If you cannot reach your doctor or you don't have
one, seek care in the next hour.
You do not need to call an
You cannot travel safely either by driving
yourself or by having someone else drive you.
You are in an area
where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.
Symptoms of a heart attack may
Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
Nausea or vomiting.
Pain, pressure, or a
strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both
shoulders or arms.
Lightheadedness or sudden
A fast or irregular heartbeat.
The more of these symptoms you have, the more likely it is that
you're having a heart attack. Chest pain or pressure is the most common
symptom, but some people, especially women, may not notice it as much as other
symptoms. You may not have chest pain at all but instead have shortness of breath, nausea, numbness,
tingling, or a strange feeling in your chest or other areas.
Shock is a life-threatening condition that may occur quickly
after a sudden illness or injury.
Symptoms of shock in a child may include:
Being very sleepy or hard
to wake up.
Not responding when being touched or talked to.
Breathing much faster than usual.
The child may not know where he or she is.
Shock is a life-threatening condition that may quickly occur
after a sudden illness or injury.
Symptoms of shock (most of which will be present) include:
Feeling very dizzy or
lightheaded, like you may pass out.
Feeling very weak or having
Not feeling alert or able to think clearly. You
may be confused, restless, fearful, or unable to respond to questions.
Many nonprescription and prescription medicines can cause
nausea or vomiting. A few examples are:
Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil or
Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve).
Medicines used to treat
Vitamins and mineral supplements, such as iron.
Starting a new medicine or increasing the dose can cause nausea
and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting also may mean that there is too much medicine
in your body, even if you took it properly.
Severe vomiting can mean that:
You vomit more than 10 times in 24
For at least 24 hours, you vomit every time you try to drink
The vomit shoots out in large amounts and with great
Severe dehydration means:
Your mouth and eyes may be extremely
You may pass little or no urine for 12 or more
You may not feel alert or be able to think
You may be too weak or dizzy to stand.
Moderate dehydration means:
You may be a lot more thirsty than
Your mouth and eyes may be drier than usual.
pass little or no urine for 8 or more hours.
You may feel dizzy
when you stand or sit up.
Mild dehydration means:
You may be more thirsty than usual.
You may pass less urine than usual.
Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and
illness. Some examples in adults are:
Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease,
Long-term alcohol and drug
Steroid medicines, which may be used to treat a variety
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for
Other medicines used to treat autoimmune
Medicines taken after organ transplant.
having a spleen.
You can get dehydrated when
you lose a lot of fluids because of problems like vomiting or fever.
Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe. For
You may feel tired and edgy (mild dehydration), or
you may feel weak, not alert, and not able to think clearly (severe
You may pass less urine than usual (mild
dehydration), or you may not be passing urine at all (severe
It is easy for your diabetes to become out of control when
you are sick. Because of an illness:
Your blood sugar may be too high or too
You may not be able take your diabetes medicine (if you are
vomiting or having trouble keeping food or fluids down).
not know how to adjust the timing or dose of your diabetes
You may not be eating enough or drinking enough
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind
of care you may need. These include:
Your age. Babies and older
adults tend to get sicker quicker.
Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart
disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care
Medicines you take. Certain
medicines, herbal remedies, and supplements can cause symptoms or make them
Recent health events, such as surgery
or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them
Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug
use, sexual history, and travel.
An illness plan for people with diabetes usually covers things like:
How often to test blood sugar and what the target
Whether and how to adjust the dose and timing of insulin
or other diabetes medicines.
What to do if you have trouble keeping
food or fluids down.
When to call your doctor.
The plan is designed to help keep your diabetes in control even
though you are sick. When you have diabetes, even a minor illness can cause
Try Home Treatment
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be
able to take care of this problem at home.
Try home treatment to relieve the
Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any
concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect).
You may need care sooner.
over-the-counter antinausea medicine, such as
meclizine (Antivert or Bonine) or dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), or an
antihistamine, such as Benadryl. Don't give
antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor
Place the tip of your right index finger on
the underside of your left wrist, about
1.5 in. (4 cm) from your hand.
Acupressure points are very small, so you may need to try this method more than
After vomiting has stopped for 1 hour, drink
1 fl oz (30 mL) of a clear
liquid every 20 minutes for 1 hour. Clear liquids include apple or grape
juice mixed to half strength with water, rehydration drinks, weak tea with
sugar, clear broth, and gelatin dessert. Avoid orange juice, grapefruit juice,
tomato juice, and lemonade. Avoid apple and grape juice if you also have
diarrhea. Do not drink milk products, alcohol, or carbonated drinks such as
If you do not have any more vomiting, increase the amount
of fluid you drink to
8 fl oz (240 mL) during the
second hour. If you are not vomiting after the second hour, make sure that you
continue to drink enough to prevent dehydration.
When you are
feeling better, begin eating clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all
symptoms are gone for 12 to 48 hours. Gelatin dessert, dry toast, crackers, and
cooked cereal are good choices. Try to stay away from strong food odors, which
can make nausea worse.
The acid in vomit can erode dental enamel and cause tooth
decay (cavities). Rinse your mouth with water after you
vomit. Brush your teeth if you can.
Not smoking. Smoking irritates the lining of your nose,
sinuses, and lungs, which may increase your risk for problems from a viral
You can help prevent influenza by getting
immunized with an influenza vaccine each year, as soon as it's available. The "flu shot" is given by injection. This form of the
vaccine prevents most cases of the flu.
Even if a flu shot does not
prevent the flu, the vaccine can make your flu symptoms milder and decrease the
risk of problems from the flu.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.