What is Nausea?

What is Nausea?

Nausea is a queasiness in the stomach, often accompanied by the urge to vomit. It is a symptom of various conditions, including motion sickness, pregnancy, stomach flu, and anxiety.

Nausea and vomiting are rarely life-threatening but could lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies. If your nausea is continuous and unexplainable, it may indicate an underlying health issue and warrant a visit to your primary care doctor.

Signs & Symptoms of Nausea


Nausea symptoms are quite common in adults and children. It indicates a bodily issue and frequently leads to vomiting.

Nausea itself is a symptom, but there are other symptoms associated with it, including:

  • Vomiting or feeling like you are about to vomit
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excess saliva in the mouth
  • Sweating
  • Retching, or repeated, uncontrollable contractions of abdominal and respiratory muscles
  • Stomach ache
  • An uneasy feeling in the back of your throat, chest, or upper abdomen
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

With a viral stomach flu, nausea and vomiting could improve within 24 hours. Food poisoning could cause nausea and vomiting for 12 to 24 hours. If your symptoms persist, consult your primary care doctor.

Vomiting is our body’s way of expelling a harmful substance or irritant. While vomiting generally subsides on its own, it can be a sign of a more serious illness, including:

With vomiting, young children have a higher risk than adults of becoming dehydrated, especially if they have diarrhea. Parents and caregivers should be on the lookout for signs of dehydration:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Rapid breathing or pulse
  • Decreased urination (in infants)
  • Sunken fontanelle—a baby’s soft spot on the top of the head

Contact your primary pediatrician if a child has prolonged vomiting or dehydration symptoms, especially if the nausea and vomiting are accompanied by a fever.

What Causes Nausea?


Many conditions and factors can trigger nausea and vomiting.

Common causes of nausea include:


Other possible nausea and vomiting causes include:

How to Prevent Nausea

How to Prevent Nausea

There is no way to prevent nausea entirely, especially when some causes—the stomach flu or food poisoning—are beyond your control. But here are some general tips to prevent vomiting and nausea:

  • Drink fluids, especially water or other clear liquids
  • Eat and drink slowly
  • Avoid fried and greasy foods
  • Eat smaller portions and more frequently
  • Avoid physical activity after eating
Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Nausea Care

NewYork-Presbyterian houses world-class primary care physicians who can diagnose troubling nausea and vomiting symptoms, discuss your treatment options to relieve nausea, and put you on the path to wellness.

We provide easy scheduling options—early, late, and weekend hours, plus same-day appointments for critical needs. We accept most insurances, offer an online patient portal, and can refer you to NewYork-Presbyterian specialists.

If you are experiencing enduring or severe nausea, contact us for an appointment or video visit with NewYork-Presbyterian or one of our medical group locations.