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Name of Symptom/Sign:
Classifications and external resources
ICD-10 R11.
ICD-9 787.0

Nausea (Latin: Nausea, Greek: Ναυτεία, "sea-sickness") is the sensation of unease and discomfort in the stomach with an urge to vomit.


Nausea is not a sickness, but rather a symptom of several conditions, many of which are not related to the stomach. Nausea is often indicative of an underlying condition elsewhere in the body. Travel sickness, which is due to confusion between perceived movement and actual movement, is an example. The sense of equilibrium lies in the ear and works together with eyesight. When these two don't "agree" to what extent the body is actually moving the symptom is presented as nausea even though the stomach itself has nothing to do with the situation. Nausea is also an adverse effect of many drugs. Nausea may also be an effect of a large intake of sugary foods.

In medicine, nausea can be a problem during some chemotherapy regimens and following general anaesthesia. Nausea is also a common symptom of pregnancy. Mild nausea experienced during pregnancy can be normal, and should not be considered an immediate cause for alarm.

Other causes of nausea:


While short-term nausea and vomiting are generally harmless, they may sometimes indicate a more serious condition, such as Coeliac disease. When associated with prolonged vomiting, it may lead to dehydration and/or dangerous electrolyte imbalances.

Symptomatic treatment for nausea and vomiting may include short-term avoidance of solid food. This is usually easy as nausea is nearly always associated with loss of appetite. Dehydration may require rehydration with oral or intravenous electrolyte solutions. If the cause is by motion sickness, sitting down in a still environment may also help.

There are several types of antiemetics, and researchers continue to look for more effective treatments. The main types used post operatively for surgical patients are ondansetron, dexamethasone, promethazine, diphenhydramine, and in small doses droperidol. Doxylamine is the drug of choice in pregnancy-related nausea. Anecdotally, another remedy used by recovery room nurses is to place an isopropyl alcohol swab under the patient's nose while he or she breathes through the nose. This may abate the nausea until the antiemetic medication takes effect.[citation needed] When ingested or inhaled, the chemical compound tetrahydrocannabinol has been shown to reduce nausea in some users.[1] Also available are a variety of non-invasive (often untested) mechanical devices used to suppress nausea due to motion sickness.

The spices ginger and peppermint have also been used for centuries as a folk remedy to treat nausea, and recent research has supported this use.[2]


  1. ^ Drug Policy Alliance (2001). Medicinal Uses of Marijuana: Nausea, Emesis and Appetite Stimulation. Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
  2. ^ University of Maryland Medical Centre (2006). Ginger. Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nausea". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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