Nausea and Vomiting, Age 12 and Older
Nausea is a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. When you are nauseated, you may feel weak and sweaty and have too much saliva in your mouth. You may even vomit. This forces your stomach contents up your esophagus and out of your mouth. Most of the time, nausea and vomiting are not serious. Home treatment will often help you feel better.
Nausea and vomiting can be a symptom of another illness. Nausea and vomiting may be caused by:
- Illness caused by a virus, such as viral stomach illness (gastroenteritis).
- Food poisoning.
- Stress, nervousness, or a mental health problem, such as depression or an anxiety disorder.
- Medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, or heart medicines.
- Pregnancy. "Morning sickness" may be one of your first symptoms.
- Problems with abdominal organs.
- Migraine headache.
- Heart attack.
- Head injury.
- Alcohol or drug abuse or withdrawal.
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.
- Disorders of the inner ear, such as labyrinthitis, Ménière's disease, or motion sickness.
- A side effect of radiation therapy.
Nausea or vomiting also may be a symptom of a problem or a disease, such as:
Nausea and vomiting can quickly cause dehydration. Older adults have an increased chance of becoming dehydrated, because they may:
- Not drink because they do not feel as thirsty as younger people.
- Have kidneys that do not work well.
- Choose to not drink because of the inability to control their bladders (incontinence).
- Have physical problems or a disease which makes it:
- Hard to drink or hold a glass.
- Painful to get up from a chair.
- Painful or exhausting to go to the bathroom.
- Hard to talk or communicate to someone about their symptoms.
- Take medicines that increase urine output.
- Not have enough money to adequately feed themselves.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.