When you have nausea and vomiting
Having nausea (being sick to your stomach) and vomiting (throwing up) can be very difficult to go through.
Use the information below to help you manage nausea and vomiting. Also follow any instructions from your health care provider.
Nausea - self-care; Vomiting - self-care
Symptoms and Causes
Causes of nausea and vomiting may include any of the following:
When you have nausea you do not want to eat. This can lead to unhealthy weight loss. Vomiting can make you dehydrated (dried out), which can be dangerous. Once you and your provider find the cause of your nausea or vomiting, you may be asked to take medicine, change your diet, or try other things to make you feel better.
How to Treat Nausea and Vomiting
Sit quietly when you feel nauseated. Sometimes moving around can make nausea worse.
To make sure your body has enough fluids try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of clear liquids every day. Water is best. You can also sip fruit juices and flat soda (leave the can or bottle open to get rid of the bubbles). Try sports drinks to replace minerals and other nutrients you may be losing when you throw up.
Try to eat 6 to 8 small meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals:
Other tips that may help:
Your provider may also recommend medicine:
If you are vomiting after taking any of your medicines, tell your doctor or nurse.
Things You Should Avoid
You should avoid some specific kinds of foods when you have nausea and vomiting:
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if you or your child:
Cappell MS. Gastrointestinal disorders during pregnancy. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 48.
Hainsworth JD. Nausea and vomiting. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 42.
Malagelada J-R, Malagelada C. Nausea and vomiting. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 15.
Review Date: 7/12/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.