Nausea and vomiting in adults: What's it, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention
Nausea and vomiting – adults; Emesis; Vomiting; Stomach upset; Upset stomach; Queasiness
Nausea and vomiting in adults
Nausea and vomiting are two of the most common and unpleasant digestive symptoms., faced by adults. Nausea is a feeling of discomfort in the upper portions of the stomach., Vomiting is the forced expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.. These symptoms can vary in severity, but when they are heavy, they can be physically draining, as well as emotionally. Understanding the reasons, diagnosing and treating nausea and vomiting can help you better manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What is nausea and vomiting?
Nausea and vomiting are the two most common digestive symptoms., faced by adults. They often occur together and are usually caused by a disorder in the stomach or intestines.. Nausea is a feeling of discomfort in the upper part of the stomach., which may be accompanied by vomiting. Vomiting is the forced expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.. These symptoms can vary in severity and may be accompanied by other digestive symptoms., such as diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Causes of nausea and vomiting
Causes of nausea and vomiting can range from mild to more serious conditions.. Common reasons include:
- Gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Gastroenteritis is a common cause of nausea and vomiting and is usually accompanied by other symptoms., such as diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- motion sickness. Swinging is a state, in which a person experiences nausea, vomiting and other symptoms in response to movement, e.g. when driving, boat or plane. It is believed, that it is caused by conflicting sensory information, sent to the brain. For Example, when the eyes can be focused on the horizon, the balancing mechanism of the body can sense the movement of the car.
- Food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs as a result of eating food, contaminated with bacteria or toxins. Symptoms usually occur within hours of eating and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- Side effects of drugs. Some medications, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, may cause nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms., such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting are common pregnancy symptoms., especially in the first trimester. Although the exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, considered, that it is associated with hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Common problems, which can cause nausea and vomiting, also include:
- Food Allergies
- Infections of the stomach or intestines, such as "stomach flu" or food poisoning.
- Leakage of stomach contents (food or liquid) up (also called gastroesophageal reflux or GERD)
- Medications or medical procedures, such as cancer chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- morning sickness during pregnancy
- Seasickness or motion sickness
- Strong pain, eg, with kidney stones
- Excessive use of marijuana
Nausea and vomiting can also be early signs of more serious illnesses., such as:
- Blockage in the intestines
- cancer or tumor
- Ingestion of a drug or poison, especially children
- Ulcers in the lining of the stomach or small intestine
Symptoms of nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting symptoms can vary in severity, but may include:
- Nausea: feeling of discomfort in the upper part of the stomach, which may be accompanied by the urge to vomit.
- Vomiting: forced expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.
- Headache. Headache may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite. Loss of appetite may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Fever. Fever is a common symptom of an infection and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal pain. Abdominal pain may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, especially if the cause is an infection.
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common symptom of gastroenteritis and food poisoning., which often cause nausea and vomiting.
When to contact a healthcare professional
It is important to see a doctor, if symptoms of nausea and vomiting are severe, persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, stomach pain or diarrhea. It is also important to seek medical attention, if symptoms occur suddenly or after eating certain foods.
Call the emergency number or go to the emergency room, if you:
- Suspect vomiting from poisoning
- See blood or dark, coffee-colored discharge in the vomit.
Call your doctor right away, if there is:
- Vomiting more 24 hours
- Inability to retain fluid for 12 hours and more
- Headache or stiff neck
- no urination for 8 and more hours
- Severe pain in the stomach or abdomen
- Vomiting 3 and more times in one day
Signs of dehydration include:
- Cry without tears
- Dry mouth
- Increased feeling of thirst
- Skin changes: eg, if you touch or squeeze the skin, she doesn't bounce back, normally.
- Less frequent urination or dark yellow urine
Questions, that your doctor may ask
Talking to your doctor about nausea and vomiting, he can ask questions, to help determine the cause of the symptoms. The doctor will perform a physical exam and look for signs of dehydration.
He will ask questions about your symptoms, eg:
- When the vomiting started? How long did it last? How often does this happen?
- It happens after meals or on an empty stomach?
- Are there other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea or headaches?
- You vomit blood ?
- You vomit what looks like coffee grounds?
- You vomit undigested food?
- When was the last time you peed?
Other questions, which you may be asked, include:
- you lost weight?
- you traveled? Where?
- What medications do you take?
- Did other people have, who ate at the same place, what are you, same symptoms?
- You are or may be pregnant?
- you use marijuana? If yes, how often do you use it?
Diagnosis of nausea and vomiting
To diagnose nausea and vomiting, the doctor will take a medical history and ask questions, to determine the cause of symptoms. Depending on the suspected cause, the doctor may order additional tests..
Diagnostic tests, which can be fulfilled, include:
- Blood tests (such as a complete blood count or differential blood count, blood electrolyte levels and liver function tests)
- Analysis of urine
- Imaging studies ( Ultrasound or CT ) abdomen
Treatment of nausea and vomiting
Treatment for nausea and vomiting depends on the cause of the symptoms.. Common treatments include:
- Medicines. Medicines can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting. Antiemetics, including antihistamines and anticholinergics, are medicines, which can be used to reduce symptoms.
- Changes in diet. Diet changes can help reduce symptoms. Food and drinks, which can help reduce nausea, include ginger, crackers and clear liquids.
- Gidratatsiya. Maintaining hydration is important to combat nausea and vomiting. Drinking large amounts of fluid, such as water and clear liquids, may help prevent dehydration.
Treating nausea and vomiting at home
There are several home remedies, which can be used to reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. These funds include:
- Ginger. Ginger is a natural remedy, which can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting. It can be consumed as a tea, capsules or food.
- Lemon. Lemon is a natural remedy, which helps reduce nausea and vomiting. It can be consumed as a tea or as food..
- Pepper mint. Mint helps reduce nausea and vomiting. It can be consumed as a tea, lozenges or food.
- Crackers. Eating plain crackers can help settle your stomach and reduce nausea and vomiting..
Prevention of nausea and vomiting
The best way to prevent nausea and vomiting is to identify triggers and avoid them.. Common triggers include certain foods and medications, motion sickness, as well as viral or bacterial infections. It is also important to stay hydrated and get enough rest., to prevent nausea and vomiting.
In conclusion, it should be noted, that nausea and vomiting are the two most common and distressing digestive symptoms, faced by adults. Understanding the reasons, diagnosing and treating nausea and vomiting can help you better manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Avoiding Triggers, avoiding dehydration and seeking medical attention if necessary, adults can help minimize symptoms and improve overall health.
Used sources and literature
Crane BT, Kaylie DM. Central vestibular disorders. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 168.
Guttman J. Nausea and vomiting. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 26.
Mcquaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 123.