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When Should I Seek Medical Care for Nausea?

It’s not always easy to determine when nausea and vomiting require medical treatment. These unpleasant symptoms are caused by a range of issues, from a food allergy to something more serious like a heart attack. 

No matter the cause, if you're unable to keep anything down, dehydration becomes a real concern.

If you're experiencing persistent nausea or vomiting, don't hesitate to seek care from our team at Houston Medical ER. We're here for you 24/7 in Houston and Spring, Texas, ready to help you feel better.

Nausea has a way of putting a damper on any day. But when does this uncomfortable condition warrant a trip to the doctor? We’re sharing everything you need to know about nausea and when to seek medical care.

What is nausea?

Nausea isn’t an illness but a symptom of many conditions, ranging from mild food poisoning to more serious health issues like migraines or appendicitis.  

Nausea isn't just a single sensation. It's often accompanied by sweating, salivation, or a general feeling of discomfort. Nausea may be activated by the brain's vomiting center, which sends signals to the digestive tract when it detects harmful substances or other threats.

Causes and remedies

The causes of nausea can be attributed to many conditions or circumstances. 


Often referred to as stomach flu, this is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, usually the result of a virus or bacterial infection.


Commonly known as "morning sickness," nausea and vomiting are common symptoms during early pregnancy.

Motion sickness

This occurs due to a discrepancy between visual motion and the inner ear's sense of movement while traveling. 

Medication side effects

Many medications, including certain antibiotics, pain relievers, and chemotherapy drugs for cancer, can cause nausea and vomiting.


Some people may experience nausea or vomiting during a migraine headache.

Food poisoning

Consuming contaminated food can result in nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

If you're feeling nauseous, there are several remedies you might try to help alleviate your symptoms:

  • Drinking small sips of water or a clear or ice-cold drink
  • Eating light, bland foods (like toast or crackers)
  • Sitting up and avoiding lying down
  • Getting some fresh air

Ginger or peppermint tea are natural remedies that can soothe an upset stomach and curb feelings of nausea. Over-the-counter medications like Pepto-Bismol® or Dramamine® can also provide relief. 

But, ultimately, we need to identify and address the root cause of your nausea to treat it effectively.

When to seek medical care

If your nausea lasts for more than a few days, or if you also have severe abdominal pain, blood in your vomit, dehydration symptoms (like excessive thirst and dark urine), or unexplained weight loss, it's time to see a doctor. 

These could be signs of a more severe condition, like gastrointestinal disorders or even some forms of cancer.

In some cases, nausea can indicate a medical emergency. If you experience sudden, severe abdominal pain, chest pain, blurred vision, fainting, or confusion along with nausea, seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms could indicate a heart attack or stroke.

Preventing nausea

To avoid nausea, follow a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and avoid foods or activities that trigger your nausea. Regular exercise can also help improve your digestion and overall health, reducing your chances of experiencing nausea.

Listen to your body. If your gut is telling you something's not right, don't hesitate to seek medical care. Your health is always worth it.

Call us at Houston Medical ER, or visit us in Houston or Spring, Texas, without an appointment to learn more about nausea treatments.

For any medical procedure, patients respond to treatment differently, hence each patient's results may vary.
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