Finding Relief From Frequent Nausea

Bouts of frequent nausea can be the result of an innner ear problem or a digestive condition, among other things. One of the most common causes of frequent nausea—that feeling of stomach queasiness that often precedes vomiting—is dehydration. Not drinking enough fluids throughout the day can lead to dizziness and nausea, as can persistent feelings of anxiety and stress and certain medications you may be taking. Unless there is a specific reason for your nausea (for example, chemotherapy treatment, viral gastroenteritis, motion sickness, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), food poisoning, or Crohn's disease), it may be difficult to pinpoint the cause of your frequent nausea, since nausea is a symptom and not a condition.

And while persistent nausea may not signal a serious problem, if you've had bouts of nausea and vomiting for longer than one month or your vomiting lasts more than two days—24 hours for children under age two or 12 hours for infants—schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out any potential illness. You should also seek prompt medical attention if your nausea and vomiting are accompanied by other symptoms, including:

  • Chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • High fever and stiff neck
  • Fecal material or fecal odor in the vomit

Seek immediate medical attention if your nausea and vomiting are accompanied by:

  • Pain or a severe headache, especially if you haven't experienced this type of headache before
  • You're unable to eat or drink anything for 12 hours or your child hasn't been able to keep down liquids for eight hours
  • You have signs or symptoms of dehydration, including excessive thirst, dry mouth, infrequent urination, dark-colored urine, dizziness or lightheadedness when standing
  • Your vomit contains blood or is green

To ease your symptoms of nausea before you see your doctor, try these tips:

  • Take it easy. Too much activity and not getting enough rest can make nausea worse.
  • Stay hydrated. Taking small sips of cold, clear, carbonated or sour drinks, such as ginger ale, lemonade and water can help.
  • Avoid strong odors and other nausea triggers. Food and cooking smells, perfume, smoke, heat, humidity and driving are among the most common triggers of nausea and vomiting.
  • Use over-the-counter (OTC) motion sickness remedies. OTC medications such as Dramamine or Bonine can help calm queasy stomachs.