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How to Manage Nausea and Vomiting

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Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms that are encountered with a number of conditions. They both can be caused by a wide variety of illnesses. Nausea, as defined, is the uneasy or unsettled feeling of the urge to vomit. Vomiting, on the other hand, is the forcing of the contents of the stomach out of the mouth. Nausea and vomiting may be caused by certain conditions such as food allergies, a  stomach infection, medications, migraine headaches, morning sickness during pregnancy, motion sickness and severe pain. They can also be a warning sign that the patient may have severe medical illness that could be any of the following: appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, cancer, food poisoning, and ulcers.

Call your emergency medical responder as soon as you find the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the middle or lower right side of the abdomen
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck and eye discomforts due to light
  • Vomiting black and tarry stools
  • Confusion or lethargic

Self-care treatment for Nausea and vomiting


Nausea and vomiting is often accompanied with chills and fever

There are a many causes of nausea and vomiting. Some may have it because of motion sickness, pregnancy, emotional stress, gallbladder disease or other conditions. Despite the discomfort, the person having nausea and vomiting is completely able to care for themselves and may be given a first aid treatment. The following may help you in treating nausea and vomiting:

  • Has the person with nausea, drink small amounts of water, sports drink or clear liquids
  • If the person is able to keep the nausea down, give him light, bland foods like unflavored bread and crackers
  • Advise the person not to take in food until the vomiting stops
  • If the person is able to tolerate (the vomiting has stopped), give him small amounts of BRAT diet: banana, rice, applesauce  and toast
  • If the person is planning for a trip, take OTC motion sickness drugs before leaving
  • Avoid strong smell and triggers such as perfume, stuffy rooms, heat, humidity, etc.

When to call Medical Assistance

Refer to a medical professional if any of the following occurs:

  • The person is not able to keep liquids down or foods in the last 24 hours or has not been able to keep liquids in the last 8 hours
  • Develops fever and consistent abdominal pain
  • Signs of dehydration (dizziness, decreased urination, and fatigue)
  • Unable to take usual medications that are taken
  • Nausea and vomiting caused by medical treatments and procedures
  • Vomitus that is seemed to be coffee ground in color or green
  • The vomiting may be caused by food poisoning


Critical Care Nurse. Managing Nausea and Vomiting. Retrieved on June 13, 2014 from

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