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When you have nausea and vomiting

Alternate Names

Nausea - self-care; Vomiting - self-care

Symptoms and Causes

Having nausea (being sick to your stomach) and vomiting (throwing up) can be very difficult to go through. Causes may include any of the following:

When you have nausea you do not want to eat. This can lead to unhealthy weight loss. Vomiting can make you dehydrated (dried out), which can be dangerous. Once you and your doctor find the cause of your nausea or vomiting, you may be asked to take medicine, change your diet, or try other things to make you feel better.

How to Treat Nausea and Vomiting

Sit quietly when you feel nauseated. Sometimes moving around can make nausea worse.

To make sure your body has enough fluids drink 8 to 10 glasses of clear liquids every day. Water is best. You can also sip fruit juices and flat soda (leave the can or bottle open to get rid of the bubbles). Try sports drinks to replace minerals and other nutrition you may be losing when you throw up.

Eat 6 to 8 small meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals:

Other tips that may help:

Your doctor may also recommend medicine:

If you are vomiting after taking any of your medicines, tell your doctor or nurse.

Things You Should Avoid

You should avoid some specific kinds of foods when you have nausea and vomiting:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if you or your child:

References

Abrahm JL, Fowler BF. Nausea, vomiting, and early satiety. In: Walsh D, Caraceni AT, Fainsinger R, et al., eds. Palliative Medicine. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2008:chap 169.

Hainsworth JD. Nausea and vomiting. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 45th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2013:chap 42.

Le TP, Gan TJ. Update on the management of postoperative nausea and vomiting and postdischarge nausea and vomiting in ambulatory surgery. Anesthesiology Clin. 2010;28:225–249. PMID: 20488392. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20488392.

Lee NM, Saha S. Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Gastroenterol Clin N Am. 2011;40:309–334. PMID: 21601782. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21601782.


Review Date: 8/31/2014
Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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