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Nausea and vomiting
Nausea is feeling sick
Vomiting is being sick.
- Sensors in the GI tract and in the blood chemoreceptor bit in the brain sense a toxin, and make the brain centre go "Meh!"
- The inner ear's vestibular apparatus can get messed up, causing vertigo and nausea.
- Higher functions in the brain can stimulate nausea, such as memory of a horrible smell.
- Drug side effects, such as chemotherapy or morphine.
- A tumour or stroke affecting the vomiting centre.
Clinical and Associated FeaturesMedical Emergency - If you get nausea and vomiting with any of these, you need to be more worried, and go immediately to A&E:
- blood in the vomit (haematemesis)
- severe headache or stiff neck
- decreased consciousness
- severe abdominal pain
There are so many causes, it's pointless to try and learn them all.
- Acute renal failure
- Brain (Increased ICP)
- Cardiac (Inferior MI)
- Ears (labyrinthitis)
- Foreign substances (Alcohol Tylenol, theo, etc)
- Hypercalcalcaemia, Hyponatraemia.
- Infections (pyelonephritis, meningitis)
Aside from that, go for
- Blood tests: full blood count, ESR, urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, amylase, glucose
- Urine tests
- Ultrasound: gallstones, liver cancer, urinary tract obstruction
- Chest and abdominal x-ray
Commonly the symptom is managed with an anti sickness drug (an antiemetic), although it is important to treat the underlying problem.