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Feeling sick (Nausea)

Feeling sick (nausea) is common and usually goes away on its own. There are some things you can try that might help.

Things that may help you stop feeling sick

Do

  • get plenty of fresh air
  • distract yourself – for example, listen to music or watch a film
  • take sips of a cold drink – some people find fizzy drinks best
  • drink ginger or peppermint tea
  • eat foods containing ginger – such as ginger biscuits
  • eat smaller, more frequent meals

Don't

  • do not eat or cook strong-smelling food
  • do not eat hot, fried or greasy food
  • do not eat too quickly
  • do not have a large drink with meals
  • do not lie down soon after eating
  • do not wear clothes that are tight around your waist or tummy

Important

If you're also being sick (vomiting), you could become dehydrated. See what to do if you're vomiting.

See a GP if you:

  • don't feel better in a few days
  • often feel sick (it keeps coming back)

Your GP can look for the cause and suggest treatments.

They may prescribe anti-sickness medicine if needed.

Call 999 if you suddenly feel sick and have:

  • chest pain that feels tight or heavy
  • pain that spreads to your arms, back, neck or jaw
  • shortness of breath

This could be a heart attack.

Common causes of feeling sick

Lots of things can make you feel sick.

Any other symptoms you have may give you an idea of the cause. But don't self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.

A table of possible causes of symptoms.

Other symptoms

Possible cause

Diarrhoea or vomiting

norovirus or food poisoning

Headache and a high temperature

an infection, such as flu

Heartburn or bloating after eating

acid reflux

Headache and sensitivity to light or sound

migraine

Dizziness

labyrinthitis or vertigo

Other reasons for feeling sick include:

  • pregnancy (morning sickness)
  • motion sickness
  • anxiety
  • alcohol
  • medicines
  • recent surgery

Information:

Don't worry if you're not sure what the cause is. Try the things that may stop you feeling sick and see a GP if you don't feel better in a few days.


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