What is Nausea?

By  , Expert Content
Dec 18, 2012

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What is Nausea

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms and not diseases. The term nausea is derived from the Latin word ‘nausea’ and from Greek ‘nausie’. Nausea and vomiting are not interchangeable words. Nausea indicates an uneasy or unsettled feeling in the stomach and the person has an urge to vomit, but it does not always cause vomiting. Whereas in vomiting the person has forcible voluntary or involuntary emptying ("throwing up") of stomach contents through the mouth.


Nausea and vomiting can be symptoms of several different conditions, such as:

  • Infection ("stomach flu"), or many other illness.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Motion sickness.
  • Alcohol intoxication..
  • Overeating.
  • Medicines - Nausea and vomiting can be a side effect of almost any medication. Certain medication such as chemotherapy drugs for cancer and anaesthetic agents are well known for causing nausea and vomiting.
  • Blocked intestine.
  • Concussion or brain injury.
  • Appendicitis infection and inflammation of the appendix).
  • Headache (migraines). 

Nausea and vomiting can occur in serious diseases as well, such as:

  • Heart attacks.
  • Kidney or liver diseases or disorders.
  • Central nervous system infections.
  • Brain tumours and some other types of cancer.
  • Chemotherapy.

If you have nausea which persists for more than a few days,  consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.


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