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 esophagus 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 (gastroenteritis).
- Food poisoning.
- Medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, or heart medicines.
- Pregnancy. "Morning sickness" may be one of your first symptoms.
- Problems with abdominal (belly) organs.
- Migraine headache.
- Heart attack.
- Head injury.
- Alcohol or drug abuse or withdrawal.
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.
- Disorders of the inner ear, such as labyrinthitis, Ménière's disease, or motion sickness.
- Radiation therapy.
Nausea or vomiting also may be a symptom of a problem or a disease, such as:
- Liver disease (hepatitis or cirrhosis).
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
- Inflammation or irritation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis).
- Ulcer disease of the stomach or small intestine (peptic ulcers).
- Gallbladder problems (cholecystitis).
- Inflammation of the appendix (appendicitis).
- Kidney stones.
- Kidney disease (pyelonephritis or chronic kidney disease).
- Urinary problems, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Bowel problems, such as a bowel obstruction.
- Infection in or around the brain, such as meningitis, encephalitis, or a brain tumor.
Nausea and vomiting can quickly cause dehydration. Older adults have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.