Nausea: Causes and treatment

Nausea is an unpleasant feeling of heaviness in the stomach, in the esophagus, and even in the mouth.  Nausea is often accompanied by increased salivation, and increased swallowing movements, with the help of which the body tries to get rid of this sensation.


Causes of nausea

Nausea may indicate the presence of disease, but in some cases it occurs in otherwise healthy people.  This unpleasant sensation is more common in women, but men have their own risk factors.

Non-medical causes of nausea include:

  • Overeating and eating fatty foods. This is due to the inability of the body to process large amounts of “heavy” food;
  • Psychogenic reactions: stress, neurosis, anxiety. With psychogenic nausea, it is enough to feel an unpleasant smell or see something unpleasant, remember the emotions you have experienced;
  • Motion sickness syndrome or motion sickness. This type of nausea is associated with irritation of the receptors of the vestibular apparatus during movement;
  • Pregnancy. Nausea during pregnancy is one of the first manifestations of toxicosis. Morning sickness most often occurs at 6-7 weeks and most often stops at 12-13 weeks;
  • Exposure to toxic fumes from chemicals, smoke, etc.
  • Side effects of medications.  Nausea can manifest itself in the form of an undesirable reaction of the body to the intake of certain medications, for example, antibiotics, non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, etc.
  • Sunstroke or heatstroke.
  • Increased body temperature.

Nausea can be a symptom of many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. These include:

  • Diseases requiring urgent surgical intervention: acute pancreatitis, appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, peritonitis;
  • Chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: gastritis, enteritis, colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcerative colitis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic cholecystitis;
  • Intestinal infections – salmonellosis, dysentery, enterovirus, rotavirus infections, helminthiases, food toxicoinfection, etc.
  • Liver diseases – hepatitis, cirrhosis;
  • Foreign body of the esophagus, stomach;
  • Food allergy.

Nausea can develop with some diseases of other organs and systems:

  • Traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, encephalitis, meningitis, stroke, etc.
  • Diseases of the inner ear: labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease;
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system: myocardial infarction, hypertension;
  • Diseases of the endocrine system: phenylketonuria (violation of amino acid metabolism), diabetic ketoacidosis (violation of carbohydrate metabolism, in which acetone accumulates in the blood), thyrotoxicosis (excess of thyroid hormones);
  • Renal failure;
  • Migraine;
  • When taking chemotherapy.

Treatment for nausea

Since nausea is most often a symptom of a medical condition, it is important to identify and eliminate the underlying cause. If the cause is not related to the disease, harmful factors must be eliminated.


Different medications can be used depending on the causative cause. For example:

  • For motion sickness or motion sickness – the antihistamine Dramina;
  • For nausea associated with the work of the gastrointestinal tract – Motilium, Cerucal. These drugs improve gastric and intestinal motility and promote rapid evacuation of food;
  • For neurogenic nausea – sedatives (tincture of valerian, motherwort), tranquilizers.

In case of nausea and vomiting, it is important to take plenty of fluids in order to restore fluid loss and normalize the balance of water and electrolytes in the body.

Home remedies

Mineral water helps to eliminate the feeling of nausea, for example, Borjomi, Narzan, Essentuki, Jermuk, you can also try lemon tea.  Also eliminates discomfort 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water.

Home remedies for nausea include a decoction of dill seeds, potato juice, and an infusion of basil leaves.


The basis for the prevention of nausea is the elimination of its causes. It is necessary to follow certain rules of prevention:

  • During pregnancy, more time to be outdoors;
  • Eat small meals more often;
  • Give up fatty and fried foods;
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Popular questions and answers

Why is nausea dangerous?

Nausea is characterized by a peculiar feeling of pressure in the epigastrium and an unpleasant sensation in the mouth. It may be accompanied by pallor of the face, drooling, dizziness, decreased blood pressure, general weakness, and sometimes lightheadedness.

Nausea can be a manifestation of acute and chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach diseases, pancreatitis, etc.), but it also occurs in hypertensive crises, toxicosis of pregnant women, renal failure, sun or heat stroke, motion sickness syndrome or “seasickness” and others diseases.

Sometimes even healthy people may have nausea as a reaction to unpleasant odors, even the memory of them.

If you complain of nausea, you should consult a doctor in order to diagnose its cause.

When to call a doctor for nausea?

Call a doctor at home with nausea if it is accompanied by frequent vomiting or severe dizziness.

Is it possible to get rid of nausea with home remedies?

It is not recommended to use folk remedies. It is necessary to find out the cause of the nausea and the appropriate treatment will be prescribed by your doctor.

Dr. Ashwani Kumar is highly skilled and experienced in treating major and minor general medicine diseases.