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What are the Most Common Causes of Constant Nausea?

By Dorothy Bland
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Nausea is often described as a feeling of distress in the stomach that can be accompanied by an acidic taste in the mouth, a lack of appetite and an urge to vomit. Although constant nausea is one of the most commonly experienced medical ailments it is generally not considered a disease, but a symptom. Some of the most common causes of constant nausea include pregnancy, food consumption and stress.

One of the most recognizable causes of nausea is pregnancy. In fact, it is often the first symptom that a woman experiences and can occur within a few weeks of pregnancy. Constant nausea, or morning sickness as it is frequently referred to, can strike pregnant women at any time of day. For some expectant mothers, nausea will subside after the first semester but for a smaller percentage, the situation can last into the second or third trimester. To get nausea relief, pregnant woman are often told to eat frequent small meals throughout the day, sip on liquids between meals and nibble on crackers.

Another condition that frequently occurs with nausea is diarrhea. Nausea and diarrhea can be caused by consuming rich food or by eating food to which the body is intolerant. For instance, those who are lactose intolerant may experience diarrhea and nausea after consuming diary products. More often, however, diarrhea with nausea occurs after eating food or water contaminated with bacteria or viruses. Traveling to a foreign country, intestinal diseases, various medications and bowel disorders can also be responsible for diarrhea and nausea.

Constant nausea does not have to be caused by a physical ailment; it can be psychological in nature. Noxious smells or smells associated with unpleasant memories can make some individuals nauseous. A number of individuals experience nausea due to high levels of stress and constant worrying. Generalized anxiety disorder and severe emotional trauma are just a few examples of psychological conditions that can cause nausea, insomnia and other physical symptoms. Bulimia a condition involving binge eating then induced vomiting also has the power to induce nausea.

For some, constant nausea can become debilitating, affecting an individual's ability to sleep, hold down food or perform daily activities. When nausea is accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, dehydration can occur. To prevent dehydration, medical professionals often recommend sufferers consume clear liquids until vomiting or diarrhea subsides. Generally, within a day, most individuals suffering from chronic nausea are directed to consume bland foods like bananas or rice.

Other common causes of nausea include: radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer, headaches, kidney stones, ulcers, and certain medications. As nausea has so many potential causes, seeing a medical professional for accurate diagnosis is usually considered the best way of getting the help needed. It is important to note that nausea or vomiting that occurs after a physical injury to the head, occurs with severe stomach pain or bloody vomit usually requires immediate medical attention.

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Discussion Comments
By anon923841 — On Dec 30, 2013

I am 16 years old and I'm 100 percent definite I'm not pregnant, but I've been feeling nauseated for a year now and it's gone worse again but started getting better in the summer. I haven't been to the doctor and my parents said it's all in my head because it all started when my brother and dad got the vomiting bug in 2012 on Christmas day and it hasn't gone since.

I have no idea what it could be but it comes more when I'm hungry and after I've eaten and I sometimes get really bad heartburn. I also get it bad when I'm nervous or stressed or worked up about something. I also get motion sickness in the car which I'm not sure how to cure because it's only come back since I've had this constant nausea.

What do you think it could be?

By ZipLine — On Oct 09, 2013

Does anyone know why chemotherapy causes constant upset stomach and nausea?

My aunt is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She is usually fine the day of treatment but the nausea starts the next day and lasts for days. When she has chemotherapy sessions back-to-back, she is nauseated all the time. She is losing a lot weight.

By turquoise — On Oct 09, 2013
@ankara-- What did the doctor say your diagnosis was?

I have GERD and I have the same symptoms. It causes constant heartburn and nausea. GERD can have different causes though and treatment requires figuring out the cause.

Have you had any tests done to see if you have ulcers or stomach bacteria?

I have an appointment next week for a breath test. They're going to look for bacteria in my stomach. My doctor said that if I test positive for one of the harmful bacteria, I will be put on antibiotics. I'm kind of hoping that it's just a stomach bug because I'm tired of the nausea and the acidity and just want to feel better again.

By bluedolphin — On Oct 08, 2013

I have constant stomach nausea that worsens when I eat. Acidic foods seem to make me more sick. I also have reflux and heart burn.

I saw my doctor about it and he recommended an OTC medication called omeprazole. It seemed to make a difference for a few days, but now the symptoms are bad again.

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