Vomiting & Nausea

Signs & Symptoms   |    Causes   |    Questions to Ask   |    Self-Care/Prevention

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Signs & Symptoms

•  Vomiting is throwing up the stomach’s contents. Dry heaves may precede or follow vomiting.

•  Nausea is when you feel like you’re going to throw up.


•  Viruses in the intestines. Eating spoiled food or eating or drinking too much.

•  A side effect of some medications, such as certain antibiotics.

•  Motion sickness. Morning sickness in pregnant females.

•  Labyrinthitis. This is inflammation of an area in the ear. Often, a respiratory infection causes this.

•  Migraine headaches.

•  Acute glaucoma.

•  Stomach ulcers.

•  A blockage in the small or large intestine (bowel).

•  A concussion from a head injury.

•  Hepatitis.

•  Meningitis. This is inflammation of membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

Questions to Ask



Self-Care / Prevention

For Vomiting

•  Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or take aspirin.

•  Don’t eat solid foods. Don’t drink milk.

•  Drink clear liquids at room temperature (not too hot or cold). Good examples are water; sport drinks, such as Gatorade; diluted fruit juices; ginger ale, etc. Take small sips. Drink only 1 to 2 ounces at a time. Stir carbonated beverages to get all the bubbles out before you sip them. Suck on ice chips if nothing else will stay down. {Note: For children, contact your child’s doctor about using over- the-counter (OTC) mixtures, such as Pedialyte.}

•  Gradually return to a regular diet, but wait about 8 hours from the last time you vomited. Start with foods like dry toast, crackers, rice, and other foods that are easy to digest. Or, eat foods as tolerated. Avoid greasy or fatty foods.

For Nausea Without Vomiting

•  Drink clear liquids. Eat small amounts of dry foods, such as soda crackers, if they help.

•  Avoid things that irritate the stomach, such as alcohol and aspirin.

•  For motion sickness, use an over-the-counter medicine, such as Dramamine. You could also try Sea-Bands, a wrist band product that uses acupressure on a certain point on the wrist to control motion sickness. Sporting goods stores and drugstores sell Sea-Bands.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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