Nausea and Vomiting, Age 12 and Older
Nausea is a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. When you are nauseated, you may feel weak and sweaty and have too much saliva in your mouth. You may even vomit. This forces your stomach contents up your Reference esophagus Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window and out of your mouth. Most of the time, nausea and vomiting are not serious. Home treatment will often help you feel better.
Nausea and vomiting can be a symptom of another illness. Nausea and vomiting may be caused by:
- Illness caused by a virus, such as viral stomach illness (Reference gastroenteritis Opens New Window).
- Reference Food poisoning Opens New Window.
- Stress, nervousness, or a mental health problem, such as Reference depression Opens New Window or an Reference anxiety disorder Opens New Window.
- Reference Medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, or heart medicines.
- Pregnancy. "Reference Morning sickness Opens New Window" may be one of your first symptoms.
- Problems with abdominal organs.
- Reference Migraine headache Opens New Window.
- Reference Heart attack Opens New Window.
- Reference Stroke Opens New Window.
- Head injury.
- Alcohol or drug abuse or withdrawal.
- Eating disorders, such as Reference anorexia Opens New Window or Reference bulimia Opens New Window.
- Disorders of the inner ear, such as Reference labyrinthitis Opens New Window, Reference Ménière's disease Opens New Window, or motion sickness.
- A side effect of Reference radiation therapy Opens New Window.
Nausea or vomiting also may be a symptom of a problem or a disease, such as:
- Reference Diabetes Opens New Window.
- Liver disease (Reference hepatitis Opens New Window or Reference cirrhosis Opens New Window).
- Inflammation of the pancreas (Reference pancreatitis Opens New Window).
- Inflammation or irritation of the lining of the stomach (Reference gastritis Opens New Window).
- Ulcer disease of the stomach or small intestine (Reference peptic ulcers Opens New Window).
- Gallbladder problems (Reference cholecystitis Opens New Window).
- Inflammation of the appendix (Reference appendicitis Opens New Window).
- Reference Kidney stones Opens New Window.
- Kidney disease (Reference pyelonephritis Opens New Window or Reference chronic kidney disease Opens New Window).
- Urinary problems, such as a Reference urinary tract infection Opens New Window (UTI).
- Bowel problems, such as a Reference bowel obstruction Opens New Window.
- Infection in or around the brain, such as Reference meningitis Opens New Window, Reference encephalitis Opens New Window, or a brain tumor.
- Infection of the pelvic organs (Reference pelvic inflammatory disease Opens New Window).
Nausea and vomiting can quickly cause Reference dehydration Opens New Window. Older adults have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated, because they may:
- Not drink because they do not feel as thirsty as younger people.
- Have kidneys that do not work well.
- Choose to not drink because of the inability to control their bladders (Reference incontinence Opens New Window).
- Have physical problems or a
disease which makes it:
- Hard to drink or hold a glass.
- Painful to get up from a chair.
- Painful or exhausting to go to the bathroom.
- Hard to talk or communicate to someone about their symptoms.
- Take medicines that increase urine output.
- Not have enough money to adequately feed themselves.
Reference Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 17, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine