Insights from TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track, Serving Over 15 Locations Across Tampa, FL
Nausea manifests as the unsettling feeling of potentially needing to vomit. It’s an uncomfortable sensation that might not always indicate a specific cause, given its association with various conditions. Below, we offer an overview of some key insights regarding nausea:
Causes of Nausea:
- Gastrointestinal Causes: These include gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, gastroparesis, and gallstones.
- Pregnancy: Nausea, commonly referred to as “morning sickness,” can be an early symptom of pregnancy.
- Migraines: Some people experience nausea or vomiting with their migraines.
- Chemotherapy and Radiation: Many patients undergoing cancer treatment experience nausea as a side effect.
- Medications: Many medications list nausea as a potential side effect.
- Motion Sickness: This is a common cause of nausea for people traveling by car, boat, plane, or train.
- Infections: Apart from stomach infections, other illnesses like meningitis or urinary tract infections can also cause nausea.
- Other Causes: These can range from metabolic disturbances (like diabetic ketoacidosis) to endocrine disorders, brain injuries, or tumors.
Management and Treatment:
- Dietary Changes: Eating smaller meals throughout the day and avoiding fatty, fried, or spicy foods might help.
- Fluids: Drink clear or ice-cold drinks and eat light, bland foods to prevent dehydration and ease the stomach.
- Rest: Sometimes resting and avoiding strong smells can help.
- Medication: There are several over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help with nausea, such as Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) for motion sickness or Zofran (ondansetron) for more severe nausea.
- Alternative Therapies: Ginger or peppermint might offer relief for some people. Acupressure or wristbands designed to alleviate motion sickness might also be helpful.
When to Seek Medical Attention:
- If nausea is persistent or severe
- If accompanied by a high fever or signs of dehydration
- If vomiting lasts more than 24 hours
- If nausea occurs after starting a new medication
- If it’s accompanied by severe abdominal pain, chest pain, blurred vision, confusion, or a severe headache
Always reach out to our healthcare professionals at TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track for guidance specific to your situation.
Other Conditions Related to Nausea:
- Vertigo: Some people might confuse vertigo with dizziness, but vertigo can give a sensation that either the person or their surroundings are spinning. This can lead to nausea.
- Anxiety and Stress: Psychological factors can manifest physically. Feeling extremely anxious or stressed might cause stomach disturbances including nausea.
- Toxins and Chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals and toxins can also result in nausea. For example, carbon monoxide poisoning often leads to symptoms like dizziness and nausea.
- Concussion: A blow to the head can sometimes result in a concussion. One of the symptoms, besides confusion and dizziness, can be nausea.
- Post-operative Nausea: Some people might experience nausea after undergoing surgery. This can be due to the effects of anesthesia, pain, or the body’s response to the procedure itself.
- Food and Drink: Consuming alcohol in moderation or not on an empty stomach, eating slowly, and avoiding hard-to-digest or greasy foods can help.
- Travel Tips: For motion sickness, looking out at the horizon, getting fresh air, or sitting in the front of a car or over the wings of a plane can help. Avoid reading while in a moving vehicle.
- Medication Timing: If a specific medication is causing nausea, taking it with food (unless contraindicated) or asking your doctor about changing the time you take it might help.
- Limit Sensory Overload: Strong smells, whether pleasant or unpleasant, can induce nausea for some people. Limiting exposure might help in these cases.
The Physiological Mechanism of Nausea:
The sensation of nausea involves complex interactions between the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, and various other parts of the body.
The chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) in the brain can detect harmful substances in the blood and induce the vomiting reflex. When the CTZ or the vomiting center in the medulla is stimulated, it can cause feelings of nausea.
Detailed Home Remedies and Their Benefits:
- Ginger: A long-favored remedy for nausea, ginger can influence gastric motility and has anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerol, a key bioactive compound in ginger, might be the agent responsible for its anti-nausea effects.
- Peppermint: Peppermint can relax the gastric muscles and increase bile flow. The menthol in peppermint acts as an antispasmodic, which can help relieve symptoms of nausea.
- BRAT Diet: This bland diet helps because it consists of foods that are easy on the digestive system.
- Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help replace nutrients lost during vomiting.
- Rice provides a good source of energy.
- Applesauce offers a gentle source of fiber and sugars.
- Toast is easy to digest and can be a bland food source that doesn’t irritate the stomach.
- Regular Meals: Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can trigger nausea. Eating small, frequent meals can help maintain blood sugar levels.
- Hydration: Drinking small sips of water or sucking on ice chips can prevent dehydration when nauseous.
- Limiting Sensory Overload: In certain conditions, especially migraines, bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells can exacerbate nausea. Maintaining a calm, dimly lit environment can help.
Other Natural Remedies:
- Chamomile Tea: Known for its calming properties, chamomile can also act as an antiemetic, helping reduce nausea and vomiting.
- Acupressure: Applying pressure on specific points, especially the P6 (Neiguan) point located on the inner forearm, can provide relief from nausea.
- Lemon: The scent of lemon or lemon essential oil can sometimes provide relief. Some people also find relief by sipping on warm water with a bit of lemon juice.
Persistent Nausea and Underlying Conditions:
Chronic or recurrent nausea can be indicative of underlying conditions, such as:
- Gastrointestinal disorders like GERD, gastroparesis, or peptic ulcers.
- Endocrine disorders like hyperthyroidism or Addison’s disease.
- Neurological conditions like migraines, brain tumors, or benign positional vertigo.
- Medication side effects.
In such cases, it’s crucial to address the root cause rather than just manage the symptoms.
As always, while home remedies can be beneficial, they might not suit everyone or all situations. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to understand the underlying cause of persistent or severe nausea.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nausea:
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If you need prompt Nausea treatment, you don’t have to wait until your doctor has an appointment available. Our urgent care centers are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and no appointment is needed. Simply walk through our doors and our team will diagnose your condition and provide a treatment plan. And, if a prescription is needed, we’ll likely be able to fill it through our in-house pharmacy.
Get the comprehensive nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea treatment you need, when you need it! Contact TGH Urgent Care today if you would like additional information about the conditions we treat at our 15 plus walk in clinics throughout the Tampa, FL, area. If you’re planning to visit one of our locations, you can reduce your wait time once you arrive by signing in ahead of time using our On My Way system.
References and Sources:
- Andrews, P. L., & Horn, C. C. (2006). Signals for nausea and emesis: Implications for models of upper gastrointestinal diseases. Autonomic Neuroscience, 125(1-2), 100-115.
- Marx, W., Ried, K., McCarthy, A. L., Vitetta, L., Sali, A., McKavanagh, D., & Isenring, E. (2017). Ginger—mechanism of action in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: A review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(1), 141-146.
- Lee, A., & Fan, L. T. (2009). Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2).
- American Pregnancy Association. (2020). Morning Sickness: Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. Retrieved from American Pregnancy Association website.
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Nausea and Vomiting: When to see a doctor. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic website.
The information presented in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as specific medical advice or practices endorsed by TGH Urgent Care. It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical advice. If you are currently experiencing a medical emergency, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention. We recommend visiting one of our nearest walk-in clinics, and to streamline your visit, we encourage you to utilize our convenient OnmyWay system, designed to save you time in line.