What is nausea and vomiting?
Nausea and vomiting are not diseases themselves, rather symptoms of other issues. Nausea is the urge to vomit, or uneasiness of the stomach, whereas vomiting is the voluntary or involuntary emptying of stomach contents through the mouth. They are controlled by a combination of both your brain and your gut.
What causes nausea and vomiting?
Nausea and vomiting can be caused by several different conditions, such as:
- food poisoning,
- inner ear problems,
- travel sickness,
- gastro-oesophageal reflux,
- non-ulcer dyspepsia,
- kidney stones, or
Should I be concerned about nausea and vomiting?
If you know the cause (such as food poisoning or migraine), it’s not a huge cause for concern. However, if your vomit includes blood or bile, or you have associated severe abdominal pain, a fever, loss of consciousness or continuous vomiting after 48 hours, it could be a more serious underlying disease and urgent medical attention should be sought. If nausea (with or without vomiting) is an ongoing symptom, rather than a self-limiting issue, then referral to see a gastroenterologist may be needed.
What treatment options are available?
Your doctor will ask questions about your nausea and vomiting, and any other related symptoms you may be experiencing. This helps determine if there is more serious underlying condition.