What are the Most Common Causes of Upset Stomach and Nausea?

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  • Written By: J.L. Drede
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 30 January 2020
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There are many causes for upset stomach and nausea. Many times, they stem from health problems, both physical and mental. Other times diet and medication may lead to them.

These symptoms may be symptoms of a disease or sickness. Often, stomach viruses and flus are accompanied by nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and other digestive disorders. Food poisoning is also another common cause as well, and may also lead to a fever and upset stomach. These are usually temporary problems that go away after a few days or weeks.

There are more serious conditions that can lead to an upset stomach and nausea, however. They can be a sign of gastroesophageal disease, ulcers, hepatitis, or gallbladder problems. When nausea and upset stomach are also accompanied by severe headaches, they can be a sign of a serious medical condition like a brain tumor or stroke.

There are also conditions and diseases that can lead to chronic stomach problems. Celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder of the small intestine, often causes diarrhea and upset stomach. Irritable bowel syndrome and Chrohn's disease are other chronic digestive conditions. Food allergies, especially allergies to gluten, have also been known to lead to an upset stomach.


Environmental factors can also lead to an upset stomach and nausea. For some people, traveling in a moving vehicle can lead to stomach problems. For others, the most common causes are stress and anxiety. People suffering from anxiety disorders commonly get nauseous or suffer from an upset stomach when dealing with situations that can cause them stress.

Drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter can lead to stomach problems. An upset stomach from antibiotics is very common, as these drugs frequently kill the bacteria in the stomach that is needed to help digest food. Pain medications like aspirin and several different kinds of prescription drugs have been known to cause digestive problems as well.

Excessive or repeated consumption of alcohol is a common cause of both nausea and an upset stomach. A night of excessive drinking without proper hydration will often lead to a morning hangover with these symptoms. In these cases, stomach problems are only temporary and subside after a few hours.

Repeated alcohol abuse can damage the lining of the stomach and intestines. It can also damage the liver. All of these can lead to stomach pain, diarrhea and other stomach problems.


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