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What causes waves of nausea?

Everyone experiences waves of nausea at one time or another in his or her life. Nausea can be a result of an emotional upset such as seeing a bad accident, smelling a horrible odour, or can have any number of medical causes. Some causes are temporary and others need treatment by a physician.

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Nausea is a queasy or unsettled feeling in your stomach. A strong urge to vomit is usually present.

Common Causes

The two most common causes of nausea are morning sickness in pregnancy and viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Other causes, which are normally not serious, are vertigo, milk allergies, motion sickness, heartburn, gastritis, and side effects of medications.

Medical Conditions

Just a few of the causes of nausea from medical conditions are appendicitis, high blood sugar, middle ear infections, head injuries, meningitis, bleeding ulcers or cancer.


If you are certain your nausea is from something temporary, you can treat it by staying hydrated with plenty of fluids, eating bland foods such as chicken broth, gelatin, tea, rice, and saltine crackers, resting and by using over-the-counter medicines for motion sickness or anti-nausea.


According to the nlm.nih.gov article on "Nausea and Vomiting," nausea is quite common and usually not serious, but you must seek medical help if you vomit for more than 24 hours, have a stiff neck accompanied by a headache, show signs of dehydration such as dry mouth or dark urine, vomit blood or have severe stomach pain.

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About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.

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