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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Nausea


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Nausea is a feeling of queasiness in the stomach. It is usually associated with the feeling that one is going to throw up, or vomit.

What is going on in the body?

Nausea is a feeling that almost everyone has had at some point in their lives. It can be caused by many different conditions, ranging from pregnancy or exercising too much to infection or cancer. Determining the cause of nausea is not always easy.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The list of conditions that can cause nausea is very long. It is best broken down into general categories. These include:

  • an infection in the digestive tract, such as food poisoning
  • an infection in another part of the body, such as the flu or an ear infection known as acute otitis media
  • pregnancy
  • alcohol
  • gastroesophageal reflux
  • peptic ulcers
  • problems with balance and equilibrium, such as motion sickness
  • anxiety and other psychological conditions
  • certain drugs, such as antibiotics, narcotics, cancer chemotherapy, oral contraceptives, and pain medications
  • problems in the abdomen, such as appendicitis, gallbladder disease, gallstones, kidney stones, hepatitis, pancreatitis, or bowel inflammation
  • a blockage in the stomach, bowels, or esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Esophageal atresia is an example of this type of blockage.
  • systemwide conditions, such as poorly controlled diabetes, headaches, cancer, chronic renal failure, heart attacks, being overly tired, overexerting oneself, and hormone or salt imbalances
  • birth defects in the digestive tract, such as a poorly formed stomach or intestine. These may include duodenal atresia, pyloric stenosis or imperforate anus.
  • Other causes are possible. In some cases, no cause can be found.


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    Nausea: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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