Nausea, Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but rather are symptoms of many different conditions, such as infection, food poisoning or food allergy, motion sickness, overeating, blocked intestines, side effect of drug, pain, illness, pregnancy, concussion or brain injury, appendicitis, ulcers 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.

A person experiencing nausea should consult a doctor if it has been present for a week or longer, and the cause unknown or requires medical intervention. Vomiting usually subsides within 6 to 24 hours, and may be treated at home. You should see your doctor if home treatments are not working or dehydration is developing. If there has been any head injury followed by nausea/vomiting, consult a doctor immediately.


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Nausea, Vomiting

Symptoms - Gas-Int - General  

Unexplained nausea


Unexplained vomiting

Risk factors for Nausea, Vomiting




Lab Values - Chemistries  

Elevated CO2




Nausea, Vomiting suggests the following may be present


Nausea, Vomiting can lead to


Recommendations for Nausea, Vomiting


Ginger Root (Zingiber officinalis)

Standard anti-nausea medications often work through the central nervous system, causing drowsiness. Ginger isn’t likely to cause this reaction, however, because it acts directly on the digestive tract. In studies of women undergoing major gynecological or exploratory (laparoscopic) surgery, those who took 1 gram of ginger before the procedure experienced significantly less postoperative reaction to anesthesia and surgery – namely, nausea and vomiting – than did those who were given a placebo. Ginger also may be useful in easing the nausea that frequently follows chemotherapy treatments.



Charcoal, Activated

Sometimes, when nausea is due to infection, taking activated charcoal will bind the bacteria or viruses, carrying them out through the digestive tract, and thus reduce the nausea.


Artificial Sweetener Avoidance

Some people have experienced nausea and vomiting from exposure to Splenda (Sucralose).


Conventional Drugs / Information

Until recently, symptoms of nausea almost always were treated with promethazine (Phenergan) suppositories. Today’s technology offers more choices, both commercially and through compounding.

A few OTC treatments are available that can be helpful in relieving nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and meclizine (Bonine) are perennial favorites for treating symptoms associated with motion sickness. Emetrol (consisting of dextrose, fructose, and phosphoric acid), can be effective in treating nausea.

When OTC treatments fail to provide the needed relief, a prescription medication may be more appropriate. Commercially available options include dopamine-2 antagonists such as promethazine and prochlorperazine (Compazine), as well as 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 antagonists such as ondansetron (Zofran) and granisetron (Kytril). For motion sickness, scopolamine is a highly effective anticholinergic agent. Additional options include metoclopramide, chlorpromazine, and haloperidol.

Please keep in mind that other conventionally used medications you may be taking for other purposes can cause nausea and vomiting.


Electrical Devices

The ReliefBand® Device is a drug-free remedy which has received FDA clearance for treatment of nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy, chemotherapy, motion sickness, and as an adjunct to antiemetics for post-operative nausea. ReliefBand® Device is a class II medical device. Further information can be viewed on their home page.


Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended



Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.


Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.


Lesion on the skin or mucous membrane.


Not just a headache, but a disorder affecting the whole body, characterized by clearly defined attacks lasting from about 4 to 72 hours, separated by headache-free periods; progresses through five distinct phases. Prodrome: experienced by about 50% of migraineurs and starting up to 24 hours before the headache - changes in mood, sensory perception, food craving, excessive yawning, or speech or memory problems. Aura: experienced by about 15% and starting within an hour before the headache - disruption of vision (flashing lights, shimmering zigzag lines, blind spot) or sensation (numbness or 'pins and needles' around the lips or hand), or difficulty speaking. Headache: usually pulsating and occurring on one side of the head, it may occur on both sides of the head and alternate from side to side. Muscles in the neck and scalp may be tender; there may be nausea and the desire not to eat, move, see or hear. Resolution: the headache disappears and the body returns to normal. Resolution may occur over several hours during sleep or rest; an intense emotional experience or vomiting may also end the headache. Postdrome: After the headache stops, the sufferer feels drained, fatigued and tired. Muscles ache, emotions are volatile and thinking is slow.

Nervous System

A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.


Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

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