Vomiting and nausea are common symptoms that accompany various diseases. Issues with nausea and vomiting are mostly related to the cause. It can result to the loss of water and electrolytes in the body and eventually leading to dehydration.
Nausea is considered as an unpleasant feeling in the throat or stomach that can result in vomiting. As for vomiting, it is the emptying of the stomach due to a strong gagging that eventually leads to throwing up. Vomiting can occur in waves as the natural movement is reversed while the involuntary contractions in the walls of the stomach and esophagus force the contents out.
Causes of vomiting and nausea
Take note that nausea and vomiting are controlled by the similar parts of the brain that involuntarily control the bodily functions. Vomiting can result to several stimuli such as taste, smell, taste, emotions, pain, infection, injury, illnesses, dizziness, motion, food irritation and changes in the body such as the following:
- Viral infections
- Eating disorders
- Food poisoning
- Motion sickness
- Gallbladder disease
- Head injuries
- Brain tumors
- Brain infections
When to seek medical care
It is important to call a health care professional if the nausea is severe in which the individual could not take care of him or herself or if the vomiting could not allow the individual to get any liquids for more than 8 hours.
For children, seek medical care if the child does not urinate in 6-8 hours. The signs of dehydration include dizziness, weakness and lightheadedness.
You have to seek medical attention at the emergency department at the nearest hospital if the following are present:
- Individual experiences vomiting, nausea and severe abdominal pain
- Vomiting is accompanied by fever especially in children
- Blood is present in the vomitus
- Persistent vomiting
- Head injury was sustained before vomiting
- Individual is unable to take daily medications
- There are other medical conditions present such as kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease or diabetes
- Severe headache is present
Treatment for vomiting and nausea
In most cases, nausea and vomiting can easily go away and can be managed at home with basic first aid. The treatment typically involves medications to minimize the nausea while fluid replacement to prevent dehydration.
As for first aid treatment at home, the emphasis is to drink adequate amounts of fluids. The intake of fluids will help correct the electrolyte imbalance so that vomiting can be stopped. Fluids will also help prevent dehydration.
- Start with small amounts of fluids such as 4-8 ounces at a time for adults and 1 ounce or less for children. Only clear liquids are recommended such as juice, soup broth and sports drinks.
- Do not allow the individual to drink milk and dairy products since it will only worsen nausea and vomiting.
- After 24 hours of tolerating fluids, you can encourage the individual to move on to soft foods that includes oatmeal, gelatin and yogurt. In case nausea and vomiting returns, switch back to liquids again.