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Extreme nausea is an intense feeling of discomfort and uneasiness in the upper stomach often accompanied by the urge to vomit. Although nausea commonly precedes vomiting, a person experiencing this symptom does not necessarily vomit. There are many possible causes of extreme nausea including anxiety, excessive consumption of alcohol, and hyperemesis gravidarum (HD) which is excessive nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Other common causes of extreme nausea are an adverse reaction to medication, an inflammation of the upper digestive tract, or parasites.
Alcohol and nausea are sometimes related. The ethanol contained in alcoholic beverages can cause extreme nausea either immediately after consumption or several hours later. Combined with a severe headache and dehydration, nausea is part of the condition commonly known as a hangover. Caffeine and nausea are also related because both caffeine intake and caffeine withdrawal have the potential to cause nausea. Abstaining from alcoholic or caffeinated beverages is a proven method to avoid nausea related to the consumption of either of these drinks.
Since there are so many causes of extreme nausea, it is important to consult a physician for diagnosis and treatment. Conditions causing extreme nausea can range from food poisoning to appendicitis to vertigo. Without a doctor's advice, it may be difficult to determine the proper course of treatment for relief of symptoms.
There are several different tests physicians use to diagnose the causes of extreme nausea. For example, an upper endoscopy may reveal whether the patient is suffering from an ulcer, an obstruction, or inflammation. There are other more specialized tests to diagnose conditions including dysmotility disorders like gastroparesis, the inability to efficiently empty the stomach even though no obstruction is present.
Physicians may prescribe a variety of treatments for extreme nausea. In some cases, it is necessary to correct or cure the underlying cause. Other situations may require medications or dietary changes such as the implementation of a special bland diet. For chronic nausea, surgery is sometimes used to implant a gastric pacemaker to help regulate the gastrointestinal system. When nausea is caused by a temporary condition like pregnancy, a stomach virus, or as a side effect of medication, the condition will generally disappear on its own.
Some patients may choose homeopathic, or alternative, methods of nausea treatment. Common natural remedies for nausea relief are drinking flat cola, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale. Chewing cardamom seeds, using acupressure wristbands, and drinking fennel tea are other popular home remedies for nausea.