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Vomiting and Nausea (cont.)

What are Symptoms of Vomiting and Nausea?

  • Nausea is a feeling of unease that frequently includes an upset stomach, dizziness, and anxiety. There is often an urge to vomit. This sensation often feels as if it comes from the stomach, but it is mostly controlled by the brain.
  • Vomiting, however, frequently improves the sensation of nausea, at least temporarily. Vomiting occurs when the stomach forcefully expels its contents out of the mouth. When vomiting continues after all the food and liquid has been forced out, it is called the dry heaves.
  • When vomiting leads to dehydration from loss of fluids, the affected person may have increased thirst, dry lips, and dry mouth. The person may not urinate often or urine will be darker in color. In children, signs of dehydration include dry lips and mouth, sunken eyes, rapid breathing, lethargy, and dry diaper, indicating the child is not producing urine.

When to Seek Medical Care for Nausea and Vomiting

Call a doctor if nausea is so severe the affected individual is unable to care for him or herself, or if the vomiting is so bad the person can't keep any liquids down for more than 8 hours.

  • Caring for a child, call for medical advice if the child does not urinate (or has dry diapers) in 6 to 8 hours. Signs and symptoms of dehydration in children and dehydration in adults (severe loss of body fluids) include weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness - these symptoms are worse when standing - dry mouth and lips, less urine than normal, dark-yellow and smelly urine, and severe thirst. Seek immediate medical care if the child is vomiting.

Seek medical attention at a hospital's emergency department if:

  • Nausea or vomiting is accompanied by severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting accompanied with fever, especially in a child
  • Vomiting blood. Blood may be bright red or dark red. Old blood may look brown (like coffee grounds)
  • Vomiting won't stop and the person is unable to keep any fluids down
  • You have a known head injury before vomiting occurred
  • There are other medical conditions present such as heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes
  • The person is unable to take daily medications for other medical conditions
  • There are any signs of confusion or extreme weakness
  • A new or severe headache is also present
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/2/2016
Medical Editor:

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Nausea And Vomiting - Cause

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Vomiting and Nausea - Home Remedies

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Vomiting and Nausea - Medications

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Vomiting and Nausea - Prevention

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome »

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a chronic functional disorder of unknown etiology that is characterized by paroxysmal, recurrent episodes of vomiting and was first described in children by Samuel Gee in 1882.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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