Everyone feels nauseous at various points in their life.
A smell, feeling, or taste could trigger a sense of queasiness in our stomach, which can sometimes result in vomiting or retching.
While nausea is not a serious ailment, you might want to find ways to overcome this uneasiness as soon as possible.
In this article, we’ll describe what nausea is, and the different causes and symptoms that come with it.
We’ll also cover what you should avoid if you experience symptoms and which home remedies can effectively treat or prevent nausea and its after-effects.
Finally, we’ll go through when you should see a healthcare provider for more personalized care and treatment for more serious cases of nausea.
What Is Nausea?
Nausea is a queasy ‘sick-in-the-stomach’ sensation in your upper stomach, chest, and back of the throat that feels like an urge to vomit.
While it is not usually painful, nausea can cause feelings of unpleasantness and discomfort that can be debilitating for many.
Nausea is extremely common and usually goes away on its own when whatever is triggering the nausea is resolved.
It can be triggered by specific odors, eating too much or too little, eating certain foods, specific sights, and emotions, motion sickness in a vehicle, certain medical therapies, or an underlying condition. For many, nausea can come and go without explanation.
Nausea is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, mainly vomiting headaches, and build-up of saliva.
Other common symptoms that are associated with nausea include:
- Dizziness and weakness
- Pale, clammy skin and sweating
- An upset stomach
- Bloating or a gassy feeling in the abdomen
- Chest pains
- Blurry vision and confusion
- Dry mouth
Nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of many different conditions or ailments.
They are usually caused by one or more problems in the brain, spine, abdominal organs, or inner ear and can occur separately or together, depending on what’s causing it.
Most cases of nausea are mild and resolve on their own, however, some can be severe and may require medical treatment or other remedies.
Some common causes of nausea include:
- Motion sickness
- Emotional stress or anxiety
- Physical exertion and tiredness
- Acute pain or chronic pain
- Overeating or undereating
- Binge drinking
- Pregnancy (More than 70% of pregnant people are affected by nausea, with most symptoms subsiding after the first trimester. This is usually called morning sickness.)
- Anorexia and bulimia nervosa
- Food poisoning, stomach flu, and viruses
- Stomach ulcers
- General anesthesia
- Certain medications and therapies
- Head injuries
- Cancer, tumors, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
- Stroke and heart attack
- Coronavirus https://khealth.com/learn/irritable-bowel-syndrome/what-is/(COVID-19)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Allergic reactions
Home Remedies for Nausea
In many cases, simple, at-home remedies and treatments may help quiet your symptoms, relieve your discomfort, or even prevent nausea from happening.
Ginger is known and proven to be a highly effective antiemetic.
This means that it helps alleviate the symptoms of nausea and vomiting and, in many cases, can help with motion sickness and bloating as well.
Some people choose to chew small pieces of raw ginger to help ease nausea. You can also brew ginger into a hot drink like tea or a broth, and include it in higher doses while cooking.
This can help mask the strong taste of ginger, especially if you find it unpleasant.
Ginger is generally a very safe and common method of alleviating the symptoms of nausea, and you may choose to avoid it if you are allergic or intolerant to ginger.
The use of peppermint
Studies show that inhaling peppermint essential oils have helped patients manage nausea and vomiting symptoms.
The menthol ingredient in peppermint is soothing and relaxing on the stomach and can be refreshing for those feeling queasy and clammy as well.
Peppermint can be inhaled through aromatherapy or consumed in a tea as well. Some people choose to chew on mints or peppermint-flavored chewing gum for a similar effect.
Lemons consist of neutralizing acids that create bicarbonate compounds that help soothe an upset stomach and calm a nausea feeling.
Sipping fresh lemon juice, drinking a tea that is infused with lemon extract, or smelling citrusy lemon smells can distract your brain from feelings of nausea and relieve the symptoms.
To calm down an upset stomach and rehydrate your body after vomiting or diarrhea, you may also drink a soda or water drink infused with fresh lemon juice.
Pregnant people have found that aromatherapy from lemons effectively reduces pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Taking deep and controlled breaths has proven effective in controlling nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Breathing exercises at a slow and steady pace can help to ease feelings of nausea and may also aid in relaxing the body using mindfulness meditation.
This helps shift the focus from an unpleasant nauseous sensation to a relaxed state of mind using controlled breathing techniques.
Sitting upright for at least an hour after eating a meal can help your body digest and ease any symptoms of nausea, bloating, or indigestion.
As uncomfortable or tiring as it can be, try not to curl up and cramp your stomach even more. Lying down in different positions can make you feel worse.
If you would like to lie down, prop your back and head up using pillows so there is plenty of space for air to pass through your system and for food to digest.
This spice is popular all over the world and is known for its various medicinal properties.
It can be used in teas, desserts, and cooking and helps control blood sugar levels, gut health, and symptoms of nausea.
Staying hydrated is key to keeping nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea at bay. Dehydration can worsen nausea and alleviate many other ailments.
If your nausea is accompanied by vomiting, drinking electrolyte-rich fluids such as flat mineral water, vegetable broth or a sports drink will help replenish your body of what it is losing.
Choose sports drinks that are low in sugar but rich in salts and minerals.
Take continuous small sips till you feel better and nausea passes.
Sometimes, just going for a walk and breathing in some fresh air can get rid of nausea.
You could be cooped up in a stuffy room for too long or perhaps get motion sickness on a long drive.
Roll down your window, look at beautiful sights, and take long, slow breaths to cool your body down. If you don’t have access to fresh air or a window, use a fan or air-conditioner to get a change of air.
The antiemetic properties of B6 are shown to have helped pregnant people overcome nausea from morning sickness.
Take medications and supplements only after consulting with a healthcare provider, especially if you are pregnant.
Over-the-counter antiemetic medication
When at-home remedies do not help or work to improve nausea, you may choose to take some medication.
Some antiemetics that are available over the counter include Pepto-Bismol, Gravol, and Emetrol.
Always consult a medical professional before taking any medication, even if it is available without a subscription.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you have unexplained weight loss along with vomiting or if you are vomiting continuously for longer than two days, then seek medical attention.
This is especially important for young children and the elderly; if they do not stop vomiting in 24 hours, take them to the emergency room.
Seek medical help if you have a severe headache with vomiting, vomiting blood, or if the vomit is discolored, has blood in it, or looks like coffee grounds.
If you are dehydrated, then consult a medical professional for help and guidance.
If your nausea does not stop, if your symptoms get worse, or if you think you may have other underlying ailments causing your nausea, then consult a healthcare professional.
If you are pregnant, have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), or any other condition that needs to be taken care of while vomiting and being nauseous, then seek medical help.
How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app?
If your nausea and symptoms of nausea do not subside within two days, reach out to our team of certified clinicians who can help you out wherever you are. Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and diarrhea are common when traveling. Our app and team are available at all times to help you navigate it.
Download K to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and, if needed, text with a doctor in minutes. K Health’s AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. (2013).
The Effectiveness of Ginger in the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy and Chemotherapy. (2016).
Peppermint Essential Oil for Nausea and Vomiting in Hospitalized Patients: Incorporating Holistic Patient Decision Making Into the Research Design. (2021).
The Effect of Lemon Inhalation Aromatherapy on Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy: A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial. (2014).
The effect of breathing exercise on nausea, vomiting and functional status in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. (2020).