What are the Most Common Causes of Nausea and Vomiting?

N. Madison

There are many conditions capable of causing nausea and vomiting, but gastrointestinal illnesses are among the most common. For example, a person who contracts a stomach virus may become sick to his stomach. Morning sickness and overindulging in alcohol may cause these symptoms as well. Sometimes medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may also cause an individual to become ill. In some cases, they may be a known side effect of the medication, but in others, it may develop because an individual has a personal sensitivity to its ingredients.

Eating before taking medication may help prevent nausea and vomiting.
Eating before taking medication may help prevent nausea and vomiting.

The most common cause of nausea and vomiting may be gastrointestinal illness. For example, a person may become ill after catching a virus from another person or consuming bacteria that has contaminated improperly prepared or handled food. Additionally, people often develop gastrointestinal illnesses because they fail to observe proper hand-washing techniques. In such a case, a person may accidentally get fecal matter in his mouth, without being aware that it was even on his hands. This may also occur if his food is prepared or served by someone who failed to wash his hands properly.

Medications might be to blame for nausea and vomiting.
Medications might be to blame for nausea and vomiting.

When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes, sensitivity to smells, and a more sensitive digestive system may cause her to develop morning sickness. Morning sickness often seems to occur with no reason, and it doesn’t always occur in the mornings. A woman may feel nauseous and vomit in the afternoon, evening, and during the night, although these symptoms do tend to be most common in the morning.

It is not uncommon for chemotherapy patients to experience nausea and vomiting.
It is not uncommon for chemotherapy patients to experience nausea and vomiting.

Drinking too much alcohol is another common cause of nausea and vomiting. Often, people overestimate the number of alcoholic beverages they can consume without becoming sick. When a person drinks to the point of excess, he may begin to feel nauseous, and the nerves that control his gag reflex may be dulled. This makes him more likely to vomit, which is good for the body because it gets rid of the excess alcohol. When the body is unable to rid itself of excess alcohol this way, or when vomiting doesn’t get rid of enough alcohol, the affected person may develop alcohol poisoning.

Food poisoning commonly result in nausea and vomiting.
Food poisoning commonly result in nausea and vomiting.

Many medications can also cause a person to feel sick to the stomach, and several antibiotics are particularly known for this symptom. Sometimes, however, a person is sensitive to a medication, even if it does not normally cause an upset stomach. In some cases, eating before taking medication may help to prevent this problem.

Gastrointestinal illness is a common cause of nausea and vomiting.
Gastrointestinal illness is a common cause of nausea and vomiting.
Thorough hand washing can help prevent many infections that cause nausea and vomiting.
Thorough hand washing can help prevent many infections that cause nausea and vomiting.
Drinking too much alcohol may cause nausea and vomiting.
Drinking too much alcohol may cause nausea and vomiting.
Some medications cause nausea and vomiting as side effects.
Some medications cause nausea and vomiting as side effects.

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Discussion Comments

whitnit24

My sister keeps throwing up a lot and passing out and she hasn't eaten anything bad or anything else and I just want to know what remedy or whatever that won't harm her. I want to help her feel better because this has been happening for about a little over a week.

dan420dan

I drink a lot of alcohol at night and after I eat heavy dinner and the problem is, early the next morning, I feel nauseated and get up to vomit. At first, I vomit whatever I ate last night at dinner and it does not digest properly and finally, I'm vomiting yellowish juices and feel bad all day. I was a daily drinker. Nowadays I drink sometimes, but when I drink alcohol, I'm vomiting the next day. I never got a medical check up for alcohol treatment.

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