Almost everyone knows what nausea feels like – but actually describing it is a little bit more difficult.
People experience nausea as an uneasy and unpleasant feeling in the stomach, very often leading to vomiting. Vomiting, or throwing up, is when the contents of the stomach are expelled through the mouth, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
There are many, many different conditions and illnesses that cause nausea and vomiting. Here are a few:
The Most Common Causes Of Nausea And Vomiting
- Viral or bacterial illnesses (like the flu)
- Food poisoning
- Intense reaction to an unpleasant odor or sight
- The beginning stages of pregnancy (morning sickness)
- Certain types of medication
- Drinking to excess
- Motion sickness
- Intense fear or other emotional stressors
- Extreme pain
- Some different kinds of cancer
- Brain injury (like a concussion)
- Issues with the gallbladder
- Brain tumors
- Heart attack
- Stomach ulcers
- Psychological disorders like bulimia
How Do You Treat Nausea And Vomiting
Generally, people are treated for nausea and vomiting in a way that also treats the underlying condition that caused the nausea or vomiting in the first place.
However, there are several treatment strategies that are commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting. People are generally told to avoid eating solid food until they’re completely done vomiting.
In addition, hydration is extremely important with nausea and vomiting, as the body loses a lot of liquid from vomiting. Drinking lots of clear liquids is important when treating both nausea and vomiting. Make sure to start small, so as to not induce more vomiting, and gradually increase the amount of liquid drank until you’re feeling better.
Women who are suffering from morning sickness have a couple of different treatment options available. Some women do well eating a bland food like dry toast or crackers before getting out of bed. In addition, eating a snack that’s high in protein right before going to bed can help prevent some kinds of morning sickness.
As stated before, vomiting strips your body of vital nutrients and liquids, and your body requires rehydration afterwards. If vomiting lasts for more than 24 hours, it’s often a good idea to take pedialyte or another rehydrating solution to replenish your body’s vital fluids.
For those who experience vomiting due to medication or other medical treatments like chemotherapy, there are often medications that help them deal with the nausea and vomiting that accompanies those treatments. Talk to your doctor about whether a medication that helps to control nausea might be right for you.
How Do You Stop Yourself From Throwing Up If You’re Feeling Nauseous?
While vomiting is by no means a pleasant experience, many people feel relief from awful nausea symptoms after vomiting.
However, if you’re definitely trying not to vomit and you’re feeling very nauseous, there are a few things you can do to try to stop yourself from vomiting.
Sitting down and resting can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed by nausea. Try lying down with your head and torso propped up or sitting down in a quiet spot and limiting the amount that you move so as to avoid making your nausea worse.
In addition, drinking small amounts of liquid can help deal with nausea. The best liquids to drink are clear and sweet, so try drinking small sips of soda or fruit juice to deal with nausea. Ginger ale and other ginger drinks are often effective at reducing nausea symptoms.
For children, there are several ways to prevent nausea and vomiting. If a child routinely gets sick in the car form motion sickness, make sure they’re not doing anything that worsens motion sickness, like reading, playing a video game, or looking at a phone. Facing them towards the front of the car can also help reduce the nausea and motion sickness that children sometimes experience in a car.
When Should You Talk To The Doctor About Nausea Or Vomiting?
There are several situations in which it’s advisable to talk to a doctor if you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting.
If you know that a recent injury (especially a head injury) is causing your nausea and vomiting, it’s extremely important to talk to a doctor right away. In addition, if you feel you’re suffering from dehydration and unable to keep hydrated, talking to a doctor is important.
If you’re experiencing diarrhea and vomiting together and they last for more than 24 hours, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about relief and getting help.
In addition, if you’re feeling nauseous (but not vomiting) for more than a few days, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Definitely go see a doctor if you suspect you might be pregnant.
Adults and children should seek a doctor immediately if they’re also experiencing severe pain in the abdomen. Severe headaches and stiff necks also mean that you should go see the doctor right away.
Other symptoms that mean an immediate visit to the doctor is necessary include feeling confused, lethargic, or un-alert. If you see blood in your vomit (whether it’s red or your vomit looks like “coffee grounds”, go see a doctor right away. Finally, if you’re also experiencing diarrhea or your pulse or breathing has increased a lot, talk to your doctor right away to get medical care.
If a child’s vomiting lasts for more than a few hours and they’re also experiencing diarrhea, fever, dehydration, or if they haven’t urinated in more than 4 hours, it’s important to talk to a doctor.
For children over the age of 6, if their vomiting symptoms last more than a day, or they’re feeling dehydrated, or they haven’t urinated in more than 6 hours or they’re running a fever over 101 degrees, take them to see a doctor.
How Can You Stop Yourself From Getting Nauseous?
The best way to avoid nausea is to know the things that generally make you feel nauseous and avoid them. For instance, if you know the smell of a certain type of alcohol or a certain food makes you feel nauseous, avoid that food.
In addition, there are several catch all strategies that can help you avoid feeling nauseous. If overeating is at the root of your nausea, try eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 big meals. In addition, hard to digest foods can trigger nausea, so try to eat foods that are easy for your stomach to digest.
Eating slowly and drinking before or after meals rather than during them have also been proven to be effective strategies for some people. If you feel nauseated after meals, try lying down with your head and torso slightly elevated in order to rest and recover.
more: What Is Vomiting?
Is Vomiting Bad For You?
When taken in isolation, vomiting usually isn’t bad for you or harmful to your body at all. However, vomiting is sometimes a symptom of a serious medical condition that requires medical attention immediately.
Conditions like meningitis, appendicitis, concussions, heart attacks, brain tumors, and intestinal blockage can all sometimes cause nausea and vomiting – so make sure to talk to a doctor immediately if your vomiting occurs with other symptoms that are also caused by any of those conditions.
Pregnancy can lead to repetitive vomiting that can put the health of the child and mother in danger, due to the minerals and fluids lost through vomiting.
Excessive vomiting can also take its toll on the body. Excessive vomiting can damage the enamel and health of your teeth and gums. In addition, rarely excessive vomiting can cause a tear in your esophagus – which is an extremely dangerous medical situation that needs to be addressed immediately.
By far, the most common danger of vomiting is dehydration – especially in younger children. The signs of dehydration are sunken eyes, rapid breathing or pulse, and dry lips and mouth. If you notice any of those symptoms in an infant, child, or in yourself, take steps immediately to rehydrate.