How is Nausea Diagnosed?

How is Nausea Diagnosed?

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of an underlying issue. A primary care doctor can help determine the cause.

To diagnose the cause of your nausea, your physician will typically perform a physical exam, inquire about your symptoms and medical history, and look for signs of dehydration.

If necessary, your doctor may order tests to determine any underlying conditions that could be causing nausea and vomiting. These tests can include:

  • Blood test. Blood tests can look for signs of infection, anemia, electrolyte abnormalities, kidney and liver issues, and evaluate your nutritional status.
  • Urine test. A urinalysis can also screen for infections, irregularities, and other health conditions.
  • Pregnancy test. Early pregnancy (morning sickness) is a common cause of chronic nausea.
  • Upper GI endoscopy. For severe and reoccurring cases of nausea and vomiting, a gastroenterologist or other specialist will insert a long, flexible tube with a camera attached to the end down your esophagus. This will allow them to see the inner lining of the upper GI tract.

How can a primary doctor help?

A primary care physician can offer peace of mind and treatment options, even for mild bouts of nausea. For cases of prolonged or unexplained nausea, a doctor can help determine the cause, prescribe medications, and give referrals to specialists if further care is necessary.

How is Nausea treated?

How is Nausea treated?

Nausea can sometimes go away on its own or be treated at home. But there are times when over-the-counter or prescription medication may be required for nausea relief.

Self-care nausea treatments

You can ease your queasy tummy with a few simple tips:

  • Drink beverages to soothe the stomach, such as chamomile tea or ginger ale
  • Drink clear liquids to avoid dehydration
  • Avoid caffeine. Coffee, colas, and caffeinated drinks can upset your stomach.
  • Eat a bland diet—bananas, rice, plain crackers
  • Avoid spicy foods and overeating
  • Rest

Medications for nausea

There are over-the-counter and prescription medications that can act as nausea and vomiting treatments, including:

  • Antacids
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Prescription anti-nausea medication
  • Prescription anti-anxiety medication

The best way to avoid nausea and vomiting is to treat the cause. A primary care doctor can help find the trigger.



While gastrointestinal issues are less common in people with COVID-19, around 5%-10% of adults do develop symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Nausea is an uncomfortable queasiness in the stomach, typically accompanied by the need to vomit. The discomfort can include ingestion or a tightness in the abdomen.

If triggered by digestive issues, many people take antacids for nausea. You can take medication for motion sickness or anti-anxiety meds if the nausea is stress- or fear-induced.

You can reduce the likelihood of nausea by determining its cause. Also, avoid fatty and greasy foods, eat slowly, and consume smaller portions.

Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Nausea Treatment

Our expert primary care doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian will evaluate your nausea symptoms, work to find the underlying cause, and provide treatment options. While most cases of nausea and vomiting are not serious, our physicians can refer you to a NewYork-Presbyterian specialist if needed.

NewYork-Presbyterian offers off-peak and weekend appointment hours and same-day appointments for critical care. We accept most insurances and provide a convenient a patient portal.

To get solutions for nausea and vomiting, reach out to NewYork-Presbyterian or one of our medical group locations for an in-person or video appointment (for qualifying situations).