Nausea and vomiting are indicators of various conditions such as food poisoning, infection, overeating, motion sickness, concussion, blocked intestines, migraines, appendicitis, concussion or brain injury.
In some cases, both are oftentimes symptoms of serious conditions such as kidney or liver disorders, heart attack, central nervous system disorders, certain forms of cancer and even brain tumors.
Difference between nausea and vomiting
Nausea is generally uneasiness in the stomach that often occurs along with the urge to vomit but will not always lead to vomiting. As for vomiting, it involves forceful intended or spontaneous emptying of the stomach contents via the mouth.
Certain triggers that can result to vomiting can come from the stomach and intestine, inner ear and the brain.
Who are at risk for nausea?
Nausea and vomiting can occur in both adults and children. Individuals who are undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy are at risk for nausea and vomiting.
Pregnant women in the first trimester can also suffer from nausea and vomiting which is referred to as “morning sickness”.
Causes of nausea or vomiting
The possible causes of nausea and vomiting are quite similar. Various factors can trigger nausea and some causes include seasickness, motion sickness, intense pain, early pregnancy, emotional stress, exposure to chemical toxins, food poisoning, gallbladder disease, indigestion, various viruses and certain odors or smells.
An issue with vomiting is dehydration. The adults have a lower risk for dehydration since they can detect the symptoms. As for children, they face a higher risk especially if vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea since young children are incapable to tell about the symptoms they are experiencing.
When to consult a doctor
The timing of nausea and vomiting can indicate the cause. Once it occurs right after a meal, nausea or vomiting can indicate peptic ulcer or a mental condition. If an episode occurs 1-8 hours after eating, it might be food poisoning. Foodborne illnesses such as salmonella might take a longer time to trigger symptoms due to the incubation period.
An individual experiencing nausea must consult a doctor if it persists more than a week and if there is a possibility of pregnancy. As for vomiting, it usually lessens within 6-24 hours and can be managed at home. A doctor should be consulted if treatment at home is not working, there are indications of dehydration or an evident injury is the cause for the vomiting.
The nausea can be prevented by the following:
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of the 3 regular meals
- Eat in a slow and steady manner
- Avoid foods that are hard to digest
- Foods that are cold or at room temperature should be eaten in order to avoid being nauseated from the aroma of hot or warm foods
It is also vital to rest after eating. In addition, keep the head in an elevated position at 12 inches above the feet to help reduce nausea.