Nausea and body aches are symptoms typically associated with some type of viral infection. Most commonly, they are caused by a gastrointestinal viral infection. Many other infections caused by viruses and bacteria, such as chicken pox or strep throat, can produce the same symptoms.
Influenza, which is an upper respiratory infection characterized primarily by fever and respiratory symptoms, can also produce nausea and body aches in certain individuals. This disease is typically most common in the winter months. It is highly contagious airborne virus and is easily spread in a home or other crowded establishments.
The influenza vaccination, also known as a flu shot, can also produce nausea with body aches in certain individuals. The symptoms associated with the shot generally last for about 24 to 48 hours. These effects are generally mild in most people and affect only a small percentage of individuals who are inoculated.
In some cases, food allergies can produce nausea and body aches. Typically, an allergic reaction to a food can cause stomach upset with symptoms of nausea and diarrhea. Most commonly, a reaction to eggs or dairy products leads to such symptoms.
Food poisoning can also cause nausea and other digestive upset, along with body aches. Occasionally, fever and vomiting may also occur. Food poisoning typically happens when bacteria has contaminated food that the victim has consumed. Although there are several types, most cases are caused by strains of Salmonella or E. coli. Body aches are generally caused by fever, the immune system's defensive reaction to the invading bacteria.
A more serious disease that can cause nausea and body aches is the inflammation and infection of the brain known as meningitis. This infection occurs primarily within the lining of the brain, although a variation of the disease, known as spinal meningitis, affects the spinal column. Meningitis can be caused by a viral or bacteria infection and often appears suddenly, with no prior illness or warning. It can be life threatening if not treated quickly.
Alcohol use can also cause nausea. When a person drinks too much and gets alcohol poisoning, body aches may occur as well. In the most extreme state, it can cause unconsciousness or even death if not treated early on.
There are sexually transmitted diseases that can cause both nausea and body aches, including genital herpes and gonorrhea. Hepatitis A, which can be transmitted through intimate contact, can cause bouts of nausea with body aches as well. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can also cause these symptoms. If it develops into AIDS, the illness can cause a variable host of symptoms known to shut down the immune system, causing serious or even life-threatening complications.