Nausea is a common symptom of an underlying illness or condition, but is often difficult for patients to describe accurately. It is the feeling of discomfort that often precedes vomiting – usually felt in the stomach, chest and even the back of the throat.
Symptoms closely associated with nausea include dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, fever, diarrhea, gas and abdominal pain. Both the severity and the time it takes for nausea to pass can vary widely from one patient to the next.
What Can It Mean?
Many conditions, both physical and psychological, can cause nausea. These can range from passing illnesses to life-threatening diseases. Nausea can also be triggered by medication, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and general anesthesia.
When to Seek Help
Seek emergency medical attention if nausea is accompanied by vomiting and one or more of the following symptoms:
- Severe chest pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe headache
- Blood, fecal material or fecal odor in the vomit
- Inability to eat or drink for eight hours (children) to 12 hours (adults)
- High fever
- Stiff neck
- Blurred vision
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Clammy or pale skin
It is also advisable to schedule a clinic visit if you or a loved one has had on-and-off bouts of nausea accompanied by vomiting for over a month.
Rest and self-care go a long way toward treating nausea. In some cases, over-the-counter or prescription medications (or a combination of both) may be used to treat nausea. Most solid foods may be difficult to keep down, so oral rehydrating solutions (ORSs) may be recommended to prevent dehydration while replenishing nutrients.
If you need medical assistance for nausea, schedule an appointment online to visit at a Sugar Land Physicians near you. Our clinics are open seven days a week, including holidays and extended weekday hours.