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A to Z Symptom: Nausea

A to Z Symptom: Nausea

May also be called: Queasiness; Stomach Upset; Being Sick to the Stomach

More to Know

Nausea — a feeling of stomach upset or discomfort, with queasiness — sometimes leads to vomiting

Causes

Nausea can have many causes, including common infections, especially viral gastroenteritis (the "stomach flu"); food poisoning; reactions to some medicines or treatments (such as anesthesia or chemotherapy); medical conditions; pregnancy; and even certain types of injuries (like testicular torsion and concussions).

Treatment

Treatment for nausea will depend on what's causing it. Treating an underlying condition (like a milk allergy) can bring relief. Because nausea sometimes is a sign of a medical emergency (such as appendicitis or diabetic ketoacidosis), if a clear cause isn't known, call a doctor right away.

Keep in Mind

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.