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Abdominal Problems

Nausea and Vomiting

Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

Nausea is a very unpleasant feeling in the pit of the stomach. A person who is nauseated may feel weak and sweaty and produce lots of saliva. Intense nausea often leads to vomiting, which forces stomach contents up the esophagus and out of the mouth. Home Treatment will help ease the discomfort.

Nausea and vomiting may be caused by:

Nausea and vomiting can also be signs of other serious illnesses involving abdominal organs such as the liver (hepatitis,See Hepatitis), pancreas, gallbladder (See Gallstones), stomach (ulcers, See Ulcers), or appendix (appendicitis, See Appendicitis).

For Home Treatment of vomiting in children under age 4, See Home Treatment.

Home Treatment

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  • If vomiting lasts longer than 24 hours, sip a rehydration drink to restore lost fluids and nutrients. See Rehydration Drinks.

  • Rest in bed until you are feeling better.

  • Watch for and treat early signs of dehydration. See Dehydration. Older adults and young children can quickly become dehydrated from vomiting.

  • After vomiting has stopped for 1 hour, drink 30 ml (1 oz) of a clear liquid every 20 minutes for 1 hour. Clear liquids include apple or grape juice mixed to half strength with water, rehydration drinks, weak tea with sugar, clear broth, and gelatin dessert. Avoid citrus juices.

  • When you are feeling better, begin eating clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all symptoms have been gone for 12 to 48 hours. Gelatin dessert, dry toast, crackers, and cooked cereal are good choices.

When to Call a Health Professional

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  • If signs of severe dehydration develop (See Dehydration).

  • If vomiting occurs with:

    • Severe headache, sleepiness, lethargy, or stiff neck. See "Encephalitis and Meningitis" on See Encephalitis and Meningitis.

    • Chest pain and fever.

    • Fever and increasing pain in the lower right abdomen.

    • Fever and shaking chills.

    • Abdominal swelling.

    • Pain in the upper right or upper left abdomen.

  • If vomit contains blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.See Shock.

  • If vomiting and fever last longer than 48 hours.

  • If you suspect that a medication is causing the problem. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, etc.) may cause nausea or vomiting. Learn which of your medications can cause these symptoms.

  • If vomiting occurs after a head injury, See Head Injuries.

  • If vomiting comes and goes and lasts longer than 1 week.

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