NKC Blog - Understanding Nausea
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Understanding Nausea

Nausea is a stomach discomfort that comes with the sensation of throwing up. While it may be hard to pinpoint what is causing nausea, as it is associated with every single disease or condition listed below:


  • Seasickness or motion sickness
  • Medication-induced vomiting
  • Early stages of pregnancy
  • Intense pain - various causes
  • Emotional stress - commonly fear
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Food poisoning
  • Stomach flu-related infections
  • Overeating - oily foods
  • A gag reflex to some odours and/or smells
  • Concussion or brain injury
  • Heart attack
  • Ulcers
  • Types of cancer
  • Gastroparesis
  • Bulimia - psychological illness
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Appendicitis


The underlying cause of vomiting depends on the individual's age. For instance, kids commonly vomit or feel nausea when suffering from food poisoning, viral infection, motion sickness, overeating, milk allergy, coughing, blocked intestines, and other illnesses.


When it comes to adults determining the root cause of your nausea is easier. Considering that we are always aware of things that cause us distress, one can quickly assess the reason for nausea.


Is Vomiting Harmful?


Vomiting can be a harmless act but might carry a sign of a severe illness. For instance, concussion, meningitis, intestinal blockage, appendicitis, and brain tumours are some extreme conditions that may cause nausea. 


A leading concern for vomiting is dehydration. While adults have a lower risk of being dehydrated, that does not mean you should be careless with your health. Simultaneously, adults can feel dehydration and start consuming more water; however, the issue is that when you feel thirsty - you have already reached the dehydration point. 


Moreover, keeping in mind that young children have no dehydration concept, and so do carry as much water as adults do. Meaning they are at a higher risk of dehydration when they start to throw up, have diarrhea, and other related issues. 


Pregnant women who suffer recurrent vomiting can get by it quickly or might face a serious issue. Recurrent vomiting during pregnancy can lead to hyperemesis gravidarum. During which the pregnant woman develops a fluid and mineral imbalance - endangering her and the unborn child.


Rare excessive vomiting cases can lead to a tear in the esophagus lining, commonly referred to as the Mallory-Weiss tear. When the esophagus ruptures, it is called Boerhaave's syndrome and causes a medical emergency.


Causes of Nausea

Nausea and vomiting go hand in hand and are commonly associated with other symptoms such as; a medical issue, medication, contaminated food or water, a condition, and other issues. 


The leading home remedy for nausea is to drink clear fluids, even when you are not thirsty. You are suggested to drink or consume any one of the following: 


  • Water
  • Sports drinks
  • Electrolytes water
  • Jelly
  • Clear broths
  • Popsicles


When you can keep the fluids down, you can start on the banana, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet. 


How To Treat Nausea

  • Generally, you can quickly treat non-serious nausea with any over the counter medication. However, if you are already taking other medications, it's best to ask your doctor for a medication prescription and check if one of the other drugs is causing nausea.
  • Some severe cases of nausea require medical treatment, as they can be an indication of what is going on within your system.
  • It's best to stick to your prescription drugs; breaking the chain midway can cause a great deal of distress. If you feel nausea after taking your medication, it's best to contact your doctor.


Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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