What is nausea or upset stomach?
Nausea is a term used to describe the general uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting.
What causes nausea?
Nausea can be caused by a variety of things. Some people are more prone to nausea than others.
• Anxiety: Some people get so anxious that they literally make themselves sick.
• Dehydration: Many people feel nauseous when they are dehydrated. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
• Motion Sickness: Some people get nauseous as a result of motion sickness. Riding on a boat or airplane is a common cause of nausea for some people.
• Poor Circulation: Poor circulation can often lead to a feeling of dizziness (which in turn can lead to nausea).
• Food Poisoning: Eating food infected with certain food-borne bacteria (like Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, Listeria, or botulism) can lead to extreme nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, malaise, and fever.
• Morning Sickness: Pregnant women often experience morning sickness, which often results in nausea and vomiting.
• Medications: Certain medications list nausea as a possible side-effect. If you are concerned that your medications might be causing your nausea, check with your health care provider.
• Brain Injuries: A symptom of brain injuries (like concussions or brain tumors) if often nausea and vomiting. If you experienced a concussion recently and are vomiting, see your doctor immediately.
• Alcohol or Drug Abuse: Ingesting too much of a toxin like certain drugs and alcohol can lead to vomiting.
What can I do to help with nausea?
There are some things that you can do that will help with nausea.
• Calm Down: If you are especially stressed or anxious, try taking small sips of water or tea. Focus on slow, deep breaths. Another option is to sit or lie down in a dark room and focus on your breathing.
• Vomit: This almost sounds counter-intuitive, but if you are feeling the urge to purge, just go with it. Your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong, and often after you get out whatever was causing the problem the nausea will go away. This is especially true in cases of food poisoning.
• Drink Water: Many people feel nauseous when they are dehydrated. If you are feeling a little queasy, go drink a few cups of water.
• Apply a Cool Compress: Placing a cool compress (an ice pack wrapped in a damp washcloth) on your forehead or neck can help to ease the nausea.
• Stretch: Some people report success with slow and gentle stretching coupled with breathing exercises. Taking your mind off the nausea often helps it subside.
• Aromatherapy: Scents like lemon or peppermint can help provide some relief from nausea.