While nausea is a natural symptom that goes along with many pregnancies, why do some people suffer with chronic nausea? The potential causes of chronic nausea may be symptoms of an underlying disease or other condition. If you constantly feel nauseous, having an understanding of what is causing it can help guide you towards effective treatment.
If you suffer from acute gastritis, take medication or medical treatments, suffer from any sort of mechanical obstruction of your bowel, or are even allergic to certain scents, any one of these could probably be the cause of your discomfort. Gastritis ranges from an infection by stomach flu or food poisoning, to overeating or a food allergy. Motion sickness or sea sickness, too much alcohol, or allergies to certain alcoholic drinks are all common causes of nausea and/or vomiting. Nausea caused in this way can usually be easily corrected with a simple home remedy, and you can be up and well again in no time.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, chronic nausea is defined as a condition that occurs “when symptoms have lasted longer than one month." Chronic nausea can last from a few weeks to as much as three years or more. Diagnoses have uncovered the presence of serious diseases like kidney disorders, liver disorders, heart attacks, central nervous system disorders and even some forms of cancer. Chemotherapy used on cancer patients or peptic ulcers in the stomach can also be the cause of chronic nausea.
Chronic nausea and vomiting may also be caused by hormonal disorders caused by conditions like diabetes or pregnancy or functional disorders. Gastroparesis, a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents is another potential cause of chronic nausea. There are a number of causes which lead to gastroparesis, ranging from diabetes, muscle disorders and nervous system diseases to stomach surgery and viral infections. Some people have discovered after a variety of tests and relief by medication only, that their diets were responsible for chronic nausea. Improper diet causing chronic acid reflux in the stomach or eating too many fatty foods, especially in the morning, can cause the problem.
At Home Treatment
The important thing when treating either chronic or transient nausea is to remain hydrated by drinking a lot of liquids. The intake of fluids should help to correct any electrolyte imbalance. Once this is corrected, vomiting may stop.
Start by drinking small amounts of clear liquids, roughly 4 to 8 ounces at a time for adults. Give children only one ounce or less. Do not consume milk or any dairy products, as these will only aggravate the problem and worsen the nausea and vomiting. Do not drink plain water; as it will not replace the electrolytes and may even dilute them.
Gradually work you way to soft foods like gelatin, mashed potatoes, yogurt or oatmeal for example. If the nausea and vomiting return, revert to drinking liquids. Give children oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte, Rice-Lyte, Resol and Rehydrate.
When To Seek Medical Treatment
Call or see a doctor or go to an emergency department or clinic if you or your child is nauseous to the extent that nothing can be kept down or vomiting involves blood, or if the vomiting comes along with high fever or severe belly pain. With babies, call a doctor if the child has dry diapers for as much as 6 to 8 hours or appears to be dehydrated.
If urine output is less than normal or is smelly, or if signs and symptoms of dehydration occur, including dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, dry mouth and lips and severe thirst, seek medical advice and treatment.
American College of Gastroenterology
Nausea and Vomiting