Feeling ill, nausea

Nausea, sickness


Nausea is a mood disorder commonly referred to as a lethargic feeling in the stomach area.
The nausea is often a harbinger of vomiting, in the case of some diseases also vomiting blood. But it can also occur without the person concerned having to surrender. Responsible for whether the stomach is emptied or not, is the so-called vomiting center in the brain. It is activated directly by stimuli from the stomach.

Often, the nausea occurs simultaneously with other complaints such as headache, dizziness, fever or sweating. Depending on the cause of the nausea, it can also cause abdominal pain or gastrointestinal spasms. Most of the nausea sounds on its own again. However, if it persists for more than three days, the general condition is poor, vomiting, or even blood is vomited, a doctor should be consulted to clarify the causes of the nausea.

Causes of nausea

For a nausea, the causes can be very different. On the one hand, nausea can arise as a self-protection measure of the body when toxins (eg food poisoning), the mucous membrane harmful substances or pathogens penetrate into the gastrointestinal tract. The nausea is to prevent further pollutants are absorbed. This self-protection is also the cause of nausea after over-consumption of alcohol or too much food. Another cause of nausea is activation of the vomiting center in the brain. This can be triggered for example by an irritation of the organ of balance in the inner ear ( motion sickness ), by certain hormones (pregnancy sickness ) or by metabolic disorders (eg hyperfunction of the parathyroid gland).

Very often, nausea also occurs as a concomitant symptom of a disease. These include, for example, acute abdominal disorders, food intolerances, infectious diseases, migraines, sunstroke, heart attacks, concussions, eating disorders and anxiety disorders. In addition, nausea may be caused by stomach irritants and medications that activate the vomiting center as a side effect.
In many cases, nausea occurs as a result of general anesthesia (see vomiting after anesthesia). Even after radiotherapy and chemotherapy, there is often a nausea. Accompanying complaints of bad feeling are often loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, fever and sweating. The combination of fever, cough and nausea sometimes occurs in respiratory diseases, influenza or swine flu. Headaches with nausea may indicate meningitis.

If the cause of nausea is more likely to be in the gastrointestinal area, stomach cramps or abdominal pain often accompany the nausea. Sufferers sometimes also experience heartburn, belching, vomiting, or bloating. Eye pain is also associated with nausea - this is the suspected glaucoma attack close. Chest pain, possibly even abdominal pain and nausea, can be typical for a heart attack.

If the queasy feeling with back pain occurs, one can think of diseases of the abdominal aorta or the pancreas. If malaise and jaundice occur simultaneously, bile duct obstruction or liver disease may be present. Pain in the upper abdomen with nausea can z. B. on a gastritis (gastritis) or an ulcer ( ulcer ) point. Also, inflammatory processes in the abdomen, for example, an inflammation of the duodenum can lead to nausea.

Mostly, severe nausea and a faint feeling in the stomach announce vomiting. The vomiting center is located in the extended spinal cord, the medulla oblongata . Through several nerves it is connected with the stomach and the organ of balance which lies in the inner ear. With the faint feeling in the stomach and nausea often breaks cold sweat and dizziness.
These symptoms occur because the blood pressure drops. Those affected have a strikingly pale face, are tired, complain of headaches. When vomiting occurs, the abdominal and diaphragm muscles contract. Subsequently, the chyme is transported to the outside. Vomiting is often the only way to protect the body: foods that are not digestible for the body, are transported to the outside


Anyone who goes to a doctor with nausea is initially asked in detail as part of the diagnosis. Are diseases known that can cause nausea? Are there any accompanying symptoms such as weight loss, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea or dizziness?
Have medications, alcohol or drugs been taken in large quantities? Questions like these may give the doctor a first clue as to the cause of the nausea.

The survey is followed by a physical examination in which the abdomen is scanned to detect possible pressure pain or immune defenses. In addition, the intestinal and respiratory sounds are monitored. Sometimes an examination of the rectum ( rectal examination ) is performed. The basic diagnosis for nausea also includes a blood and urine examination, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and an ultrasound examination of the abdominal area.
Depending on the suspected cause, the doctor may then perform further examinations to confirm or exclude them. Helpful may be a gastroscopy ( gastroscopy ), X-ray examination of the chest and abdomen, computed tomography of the head or an examination of the fundus (Augenhintergrundspiegelung). Patients at particular risk of nausea include women, especially during menstruation, obesity, distended abdomen, children, adolescents 11-14 years, patients with gastric emptying disorders, previous experience of previous nausea and vomiting, smoker, travel sickness ( kinetosis ) and nausea after previous ones Surgery or known intolerance of an anesthetic.


Since nausea can have many causes, it is difficult to name a blanket treatment strategy. However, there are some things that apply generally. If, for example, the nausea is due to too much food or alcohol consumption, then food / alcohol should initially be dispensed with until the symptoms have disappeared. However, if the nausea occurs because too little was eaten, then the person concerned should take something easy. Care should be taken to ensure adequate drinking, preferably still water and gentle herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint tea.
Sometimes putting a hot water bottle or a warm cherry stone pillow on your stomach or gently massaging your stomach can help. Optical stimuli such as television or computer games should be avoided in case of existing nausea.

Homeopathic remedies are also often used. "Nux vomica" is particularly popular for this. Medical facilities mainly use drugs containing pantoprazole.
First and foremost, the nausea is combated causally. In the case of effects of stress and migraine, one tries to alleviate the cause by calming down. Also, improper diet can be adjusted as a cause of upset stomach.
When treating nausea in general, patient involvement and intensive work by the doctor is required to explore the exact cause and to help the patient more effectively.

Medicines for nausea

There are several medications used to treat nausea. For travel sickness, for example, scopolamine is recommended. This medicine should be applied as a patch (Scopoderm ® ) to the skin. However, it is delayed due to the form of application (patch) and should be glued in the best case before the nausea has occurred, for example, before embarking on a flight or cruise. Then it works relatively reliably over several days. However, it is relatively expensive and prescription.
For example, Dimenhydrinate, better known as Vomex ®, can be purchased without a prescription. It works relatively quickly against nausea, not only in case of travel-related nausea. It is available as a tablet, chewing gum and suppositories in the pharmacy.
Metoclopramide (MCP) is also an anti-emetic, a remedy for nausea. It is available in drops and tablets, but only with prescription.

Both metoclopramide and dimenhydrinate can generally be taken during pregnancy, but you should always consult the attending gynecologist first.

Home remedies for nausea

As a home remedy for nausea and vomiting ginger is known. For this purpose, the part of a tuber is peeled and cut into strips. Put the strips in a cup and pour hot but not boiling water over them and let them soak for a few minutes. Then drink in sips. Ginger should be able to induce premature labor in pregnant women, so this variant should not be used during pregnancy.
In addition to the already mentioned abstinence from alcohol and nicotine, rest and fresh air usually provide some relief. It should also be taken only small, light meals. Sufficient fluid intake is always important and helpful.

Nausea in motion sickness


Signals or different or even conflicting information, especially of the equilibrium system and the visual apparatus (regarding seeing), lead to a conflict of sensory perceptions. The different sensory perceptions affect the posture in the room. The combination of these different information of different sensory organs seems to be impossible and therefore creates feelings of anxiety.
The body reports movement through the balance organ in the inner ear, but the eyes report the opposite. However, vision is not an absolute condition for motion sickness ( Kinetasio ) because it is known that even blind people can travel sick. The organ of balance in the ear announces a rocking on a ship at sea, while under deck for the affected one the impression arises, that everything is calm.
A commonly prescribed drug in motion sickness is butylscopolamine.

Nausea in migraine

Nausea and vomiting

Migraine attacks are manifested by severe, throbbing and throbbing pain, which usually progress slowly and last for 4-72 hours (Patient Guideline Headache and Migraine, University of Witten, 2005). The severe headache is usually limited to one head of a migraine headache, rarely the pain is located in the entire head area.
Accompanying symptoms of migraine are often photophobia, nausea and vomiting. Overactivity, fatigue and cravings are often preceded by a migraine attack. Migraine attacks can be triggered by certain circumstances such as lack of sleep, environmental influences, hormone fluctuations, stress, certain foods, noise, weather influences, fluctuations in caffeine levels - especially with regular caffeine intake -, low blood sugar (fluctuations in blood sugar levels) by skipped meals etc.

Nausea in pregnancy

At the beginning of pregnancy, almost all women experience morning sickness, which is often associated with vomiting. The nausea occurs mainly within the first three months. The cause is, one suspects, a hormone change within the first months of pregnancy. The nausea is probably the result of hormonal fluctuations, irregular blood sugar levels, dehydration, stress, tiredness and other factors associated with the physical burden of pregnancy.
A bright spot for affected women is that the nausea is only temporary and regresses during pregnancy.

As with non-pregnant women, the following instructions apply: Care should always be taken to ensure adequate fluid intake. It would be better to take several small meals than a few large ones. During the phase with nausea, light diet is recommended. It should be taken to sufficient rest. In acute cases, warm herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint tea and fresh air often help. If all these measures do not lead to a sufficient control of the nausea then the treating gynecologist should be consulted. This can decide whether the use of antiemetics, drugs for nausea, possible and useful.
If the blood sugar level is the cause, it can help to eat something early in the morning. An all-round healthy diet during pregnancy can only have a positive effect on the nausea. This includes a sufficient supply of water and the absence of caffeine.

Headache and nausea

A typical clinical picture that describes headaches with nausea is migraine. Migraine has no direct influence on the stomach, but the nausea is triggered by changes in the centers of the brain.
In addition to migraine, tension-type headaches or meningeal irritations as well as meningitis can cause nausea. The nausea can be so strong that it comes to vomiting.
The headache can also be due to the nausea, as is the case with gastrointestinal infections. Headache occurs as a result of fluid loss due to excessive vomiting or diarrhea.
In case of nausea, medications such as Vomex may be helpful. In case of headache nausea, a doctor should be consulted especially in case of unknown background or sudden onset, to clarify and treat the cause.

Nausea after eating

In case of nausea after eating, it is suspected that the ingested food is responsible for the nausea. This can have several causes. Probably almost everyone knows the feeling after eating too much. But even if it is taken to greasy or spicy food that can lead to nausea.
In case of severe nausea, which occurs shortly after eating, food poisoning can rarely be the cause, for example due to spoiled food or even mushrooms that have been collected.

Another cause of the regular occurrence of nausea after eating may be the presence of a gastric ulcer. Here then as an accompanying symptom usually abdominal pain in the upper abdomen. Then a doctor should be consulted for further diagnostics, for example in the form of a gastroscopy.
In most cases, however, there is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract. By bacteria, viruses or other pathogens, which can take the affected person about infected food or contact with other patients, it comes to gastrointestinal infections. These are often associated with fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Most of these diseases heal by themselves, sometimes antibiotics accelerate the healing process. The irritated gastrointestinal tract means that the body wants to get rid of the newly taken food as a protective reflex.
Also possible is a food intolerance. A common example is lactose intolerance. Rarer are greater underlying diseases behind it. The nausea occurs as a result of reflux disease, a pass disorder in the stomach, a narrowing of the gastric outlet or indigestion in connection with bile and pancreas. These are in urgent need of therapy and usually do not heal themselves.

Nausea in the evening

Nausea in the evening does not indicate a specific illness. It is often coincidence that the nausea occurs in the evening. In pregnancy, morning sickness is typical, but it may occur in the evening. If there are repeated nausea in the evening, this may be related to the intake of food during the day. Eventually, too little was eaten. Even alcoholic drinks can cause nighttime nausea.

Nausea after drinking alcohol

It is not uncommon for nausea to occur after drinking alcohol. Either already after consuming a small amount in someone who rarely consumes alcohol or too much alcohol. Nausea is more common with alcohol consumption when drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. It is therefore advisable to eat well before drinking alcohol and to limit the amount of consumption. If nausea still occurs, then rest, sleep and adequate drinking help non-alcoholic beverages such as still water or tea.

Nausea and vomiting

Often nausea and vomiting are associated with each other, usually nausea is the harbinger. Often, the combination occurs as part of an upset stomach or a gastrointestinal infection. Frequently it comes then also to diarrhea. Nausea and vomiting often occur together during pregnancy. In rare cases, nausea and vomiting may also indicate the presence of a dangerous disease. For example, in case of food poisoning, then a doctor should be visited promptly.
In case of nausea and vomiting, nutritional support, warm teas, rest and fresh air help. If this is not enough, depending on the cause, medications that work against nausea can also be used. If nausea and vomiting occur as part of a medical treatment, for example, chemotherapy, usually a drug therapy to relieve the symptoms used.

Nausea and diarrhea

The combination of nausea and diarrhea often occurs as part of a gastrointestinal infection. Often it comes to vomiting. The symptoms are usually relatively sudden and usually last 1-3 days. There may be several people in the area who have had similar symptoms since the causative agents of gastrointestinal infections are often contagious. There should be no food intake at first. It is important to pay attention to a sufficient amount of drinking water, in case of fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhea at least 3 liters a day if there is no cardiac or kidney disease. The liquid is best absorbed in the form of still water or warm herbal teas.
It should also be a physical protection. Alcohol and nicotine should be avoided.

If the symptoms fade, a slow diet with stomach-friendly food should be done. If it is not possible to compensate for the fluid deficit by drinking, for example in children or the elderly, a doctor should be consulted. It may then be necessary to administer fluid via the vein in the form of infusions.

Nausea after antibiotics

Many antibiotics cause nausea as a side effect. Even if it can be assumed as a cause of a typical side effect, the complaints can be very tormenting. With some antibiotics as well as other tablets it helps to use a so-called swallowing aid. This is pulled over the tablet. This reduces the bitter taste of some antibiotics and facilitates swallowing.
If the nausea still occurs, you should first try to get it under control with home remedies. For example with warm stomach-friendly teas or with ginger tea. Also fresh air and rest and heat application, for example in the form of a hot water bottle often help. If all this is not enough, an anti-emetic, ie a remedy for nausea, can also be taken during the time of taking the antibiotics. Dimenhydrinate (Vomex®), for example dimenhydrinate, is suitable here as an over-the-counter agent. It is sold in tablet, chewing gum and suppository form.

Psychogenic nausea

Mental illness can also be associated with nausea - such as depression and eating disorders. By psychogenic nausea is meant a feeling disorder, which under emotional stress, z. B. in exam situations, occurs and is often associated with vomiting. Frequently, family members of those affected report that they are also prone to nausea and vomiting in stressful situations. It is typical for this type of nausea and vomiting that it occurs immediately after the meal. Women are more affected by such nausea and vomiting according to the Swiss Medical Forum ("Nausea and Vomiting", 2001) than men. A personality trait that is often found among those affected is the avoidance of conflict and the avoidance of disharmony.

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