What is chronic nausea?

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Most people know what nausea is because they have experienced it while battling the virus, even after riding a roller coaster or flying over obstacles on an airplane, and pregnant women are often very aware of it. Nausea is a feeling of restlessness in the stomach, which can be accompanied by a feeling of vomiting.

It can range from severe, where vomiting seems to occur at any time, to mild and prolonged indigestion. Sometimes nausea is also accompanied by poor appetite, regurgitation, vomiting, and abdominal pain or discomfort .

Nausea is not usually viewed as a condition in and of itself, but rather as a symptom of something else going on in the body.

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Acute or chronic nausea

Acute nausea can be caused by a sudden illness called acute. Acute nausea can be caused by a virus that infects the stomach and causes nausea and vomiting (this is gastroenteritis, often called the ' stomach flu ', although it is not related to the flu ).

Food poisoning is another cause of nausea (sometimes accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea) that comes on suddenly and usually goes away on its own when bacteria cleanse the body.

Other common causes of acute nausea that usually resolve on their own include :

  • Dizziness in the car (motion sickness)
  • Strong pain
  • Hangover
  • Side effects of medications
  • Migraine
  • Binge
  • Stress
  • Trauma (such as a concussion)

Chronic nausea is when nausea can be present all the time or it can come and go. In some cases, nausea can appear after a trigger, such as eating, only to get better and then return after the next meal.

When nausea is chronic and there is no clear cause, such as pregnancy, it is time to speak with your doctor about why it could be happening. There will not be a specific test that can help determine the cause of the nausea, so the tests will depend on what may be suspicious.

Conditions associated with chronic nausea

Nausea is a symptom of the condition and some of the more common causes may include the following.

The pregnancy

Chronic nausea is common during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, and is called "morning sickness," although it can last all day. Nausea often occurs in the middle of the first trimester and goes away in the second. But some people have nausea during pregnancy or it comes back to the end.

When nausea is severe and accompanied by vomiting to such an extent that it is difficult to retain any food or water, it can be a condition called hyperemesis of pregnancy .

Gallstones

Gallstones are common, especially in women, who are twice as likely to have stones as men. Gallbladder stones may not cause any symptoms, but they can also cause back, shoulder, or upper abdominal pain, as well as nausea and vomiting .

Symptoms may be worse after eating, especially when high-fat foods are eaten. Gallstones can be diagnosed using one of several different imaging techniques and are most often treated by removing the gallbladder .

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition that occurs when stomach contents back up into the esophagus. This can lead to symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea.

Symptoms may be worse after eating or at night after lying down. Nausea can persist, especially if stomach acid runs down your throat.

In many cases, GERD can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications (including antacids, histamine-2 receptor antagonists, H2RA, and proton pump inhibitors, PPIs ).

Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and sleeping with your head held high, and preventing potential symptom triggers (such as smoking, alcoholic beverages, coffee, chocolate, fatty and fried foods) can also help.

Migraine

A migraine can cause nausea before it occurs or during the headache. Diagnosing headaches can be tricky because there are several different types of migraines that have different symptoms. Treatment can include both lifestyle changes and medication .

Peptic ulcer

Peptic ulcers are ulcers in the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus. In most cases, peptic ulcers are caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori ). Another cause of peptic ulcers is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, but this is less common .

Peptic ulcers often cause pain or discomfort, but they can also cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and a feeling of fullness after small meals. For H. pylori ulcers, antibiotics will be prescribed along with other medications to help relieve symptoms.

Central nervous system diseases.

Conditions that affect the nervous system, such as intracranial hemorrhage . or the infections may be associated with nausea. These conditions are serious and are usually accompanied by symptoms of confusion, dizziness, or memory changes.

If these symptoms occur and bleeding or an infection such as meningitis is suspected, they are a reason to seek immediate medical attention.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can result from a viral infection, autoimmune hepatitis, or alcoholic hepatitis. Hepatitis can be acute or chronic, causing nausea, jaundice , fever, headache, and joint pain .

Treatment will depend on the cause of the hepatitis, but will range from lifestyle changes to antiviral medications and steroids .

Hernia of the esophageal opening of the diaphragm.

A hiatal hernia is a weak point in the abdominal wall through which the stomach is pushed into the chest. Hernias can cause reflux symptoms, as well as pain or discomfort, and in some cases, there may also be nausea.

Small hernias may be invisible, cause symptoms, or even need treatment, but large hernias may require surgery .

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and indefinite colitis, which are diseases of the digestive tract. These diseases cause inflammation in various parts of the digestive system and can be associated with chronic nausea .

In some cases, nausea can be a side effect of the medication or the result of a complication (such as a bowel obstruction). Treatment will depend on the cause of the nausea and may also include effective treatment for inflammation caused by IBD.

Intestinal obstruction

An obstruction is a blockage in the small or large intestine . The blockage can be caused by one of several reasons, including scar tissue, twisted or twisted intestine.

Pain is usually the most noticeable sign of a bowel obstruction, but nausea and vomiting may also occur in some cases. Obstacles are more common in people with IBD ( Crohn's disease in particular), but they can happen to anyone.

Obstacles can be a medical emergency, so it is important to seek immediate help if you suspect them. In most cases, the blockage can be treated in a hospital without surgery.

Pancreatitis

The pancreas is an organ that secretes enzymes for digestion in the stomach and hormones into the bloodstream. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause symptoms of pain that are worse after eating, fever, nausea, and vomiting .

Pancreatitis is rare, and people with the condition often get very sick because it is a serious condition. Treatment will depend on the cause of the pancreatitis.

Chronic idiopathic nausea

Idiopathic means that no physical cause of the nausea has been identified. However, this does not mean that there is no reason or that it will not be clarified in the future. In some cases, this can also be called functional nausea.

Since there does not appear to be an underlying cause of the nausea, treatment generally focuses on reducing the discomfort of nausea, treating any other conditions that may occur at the same time, such as migraines, balance problems, or digestive disorders, and preventing vomiting. .

Watch out

Treatment of chronic nausea is highly dependent on the underlying cause, so an accurate diagnosis is very important. However, once the cause is determined, there are several things you can do to control your nausea and make it less bothersome. Home treatment for nausea may include:

  • Antihistamines or antiemetics (as recommended by a doctor )
  • Motion sickness medications (such as dramamine) as recommended by your doctor.
  • Cold room
  • Deep, even breathing
  • Foods that are less likely to cause nausea (crackers, bread, rice)
  • Ginger-containing foods or ginger candy suck
  • Shots of cold water, ginger ale, or tea.
  • Smaller, more frequent meals

When to see a doctor

Nausea is not usually an emergency. But call a doctor immediately if :

  • Black or tarry stools
  • Blood in the stool or vomit
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Hot
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Persistent vomiting

Get the word of drug information

Nausea is a nonspecific symptom. It can be difficult to determine exactly what is causing it. In many cases, associated symptoms (such as pain, fever, or vomiting) can give your doctor more information about what may cause nausea.

If nausea comes on, goes away or is chronic, this is an excuse to make an appointment with your doctor to fix it. Common conditions associated with nausea can be treated in a number of ways, but home remedies can also help control nausea in the short term.

When nausea is accompanied by symptoms that cause anxiety, such as severe pain, vomiting, or blood in vomit or stool, this is a good reason to see your doctor immediately.

Frequently asked questions

  • Call your doctor if your nausea has lasted for more than a week, if you are pregnant, or if you have vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours. See your doctor right away if you experience severe symptoms such as severe pain, blood in vomit or stool, lethargy, confusion, rapid breathing, or a fast pulse.

  • If you feel sick in the morning, try eating crackers before you get out of bed. Eat something with protein before bed, like cheese or peanut butter. To prevent nausea during the day, eat several small meals instead of three large meals. Eat food cold or at room temperature if the smells of hot food make you sick.

  • Lying with your head up about 12 inches above your feet can help relieve nausea, especially after eating. Raising your head can also help reduce heartburn, which can ease the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

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