A to Z Symptom: Nausea
May also be called: Queasiness; Stomach Upset; Being Sick to the Stomach
What Is Nausea?
Nausea (NAW-zee-uh) is stomach upset or discomfort that can make you feel like you need to throw up (queasiness). It sometimes leads to vomiting.
What Causes Nausea?
Many things can cause nausea, including:
- common infections, especially viral gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”)
- food poisoning
- reactions to some medicines or treatments (such as anesthesia or chemotherapy)
- some kinds of medical conditions or injuries like (like testicular torsion and concussions)
How Is Nausea Treated?
Treatment for nausea depends on what’s causing it. Treating the underlying condition can bring relief.
Because nausea sometimes is a sign of a medical emergency (like appendicitis), call a doctor right away you don’t know what’s causing it.
What Else Should I Know?
Nausea that leads to vomiting or happens with diarrhea can lead to dehydration. It’s important to make sure that the fluids, salts, and minerals lost are replaced.
Washing hands well and often is the best way to prevent spreading some of the infections that can cause nausea. Everyone in your family should wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.