What are the most common causes of prolonged nausea?

The most common causes of prolonged nausea are pregnancy, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), stress, and certain medications. Most of these are completely treatable and do not cause long-term health problems, although GERD can sometimes cause damage to the esophagus. Treatments may vary depending on the underlying cause.

Pregnancy is a common cause of prolonged nausea. Also known as "morning sickness," pregnancy-related nausea usually begins around the fifth or sixth week of gestation and lasts until 14 or more weeks of gestation. The exact length of time that morning sickness will last depends on each woman, with some women complaining of nausea and vomiting well into their third trimester. Others will experience no illness at all.

Treatments for nausea during pregnancy include eating smaller meals several times a day instead of three large meals, staying hydrated, and resting as often as possible. There are also commercial pills available that contain brown rice syrup to help with nausea. Drinking ginger ale or taking ginger supplements may also help. In some severe cases where dehydration due to vomiting is a problem, prescription medications may be given.

Another common cause of prolonged nausea is GERD. This is a condition caused by food contents from the stomach leaking into the esophagus. Nausea can be a common complaint for sufferers. Treatments for GERD may include smaller meals, taking over-the-counter antacids, avoiding foods that are spicy or acidic, and sometimes taking prescription medications.

Many patients also report prolonged nausea at times of stress. This is especially prevalent in children, as they often report stomachaches when they have problems at school or at home. Treatment includes relaxation and sometimes anti-anxiety medications if the stress becomes a chronic problem or is caused by a chemical imbalance. Prolonged stomach symptoms related to stress can eventually lead to an ulcer, so treatment should be sought.

There are also certain medications that can cause prolonged nausea. Chemotherapy in cancer treatment is an example. Treatment may include switching to an alternative medication or lowering the dose. However, this is not always possible, and patients may have to deal with nausea until the drug can be stopped. Additional medications can also be used to help rid the patient of nausea and vomiting, and natural therapies such as ginger supplements and crackers can also be used.

Bacterial and viral infections can also cause severe nausea and vomiting, but the symptoms are usually short-lived and shouldn't cause a long-term problem. If nausea continues without a known medical cause, victims should contact a doctor to find out about any underlying conditions. Nausea is a common symptom of various illnesses, although it is generally rare.

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