Nausea and Vomiting

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

woman with abdominal pain

What are home remedies for nausea or vomiting?

It is important to rest the stomach and yet still avoid dehydration. Clear fluids should be attempted for the first 24 hours of an illness, and then the diet should be advanced as tolerated.

Clear fluids are easy for the stomach to absorb and include:

  • Water
  • Sports drinks
  • Clear broths
  • Popsicles
  • Jello

It is important not to take too much fluid at one time since stretching the stomach may cause the nausea to worsen. One to two ounces of fluid at a time, taken every 10-15 minutes, may be all that the stomach will be able to tolerate. In infants and children, the amount may be as little as 5 or 10 cc's or less than a third of an ounce at a time.

Milk products should be avoided for the first 24-48 hours during an episode of nausea and vomiting. The enzyme that helps digest milk is located in cells lining the stomach. With vomiting, the body can become relatively lactose intolerant. Abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur. As the affected individual begins to feel better, they can begin to reintroduce foods, but to help the stomach readjust, health care professionals often recommend limiting the diet to bland foods such as bananas, applesauce, rice, toast (the BRAT diet).

When should I call the doctor regarding nausea and vomiting?

If the symptoms last for more than 24 hours, if the diagnosis is uncertain, if there is concern about dehydration, or if the patient has underlying medical conditions that make them more fragile, medical care should be accessed sooner, rather than later.

Infants and children are more susceptible to dehydration and may not have as much reserve as an adult. If there is concern about dehydration or the inability to tolerate fluids, a health care professional should be contacted.

If nausea and vomiting are associated with pain, fever, vomiting blood, or having bloody or black, tarry bowel movements, medical care should be sought immediately.

Vomiting is a symptom of an illness, if the symptom persists for more than 24-48 hours, it may be wise to contact a health care professional.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/22/2016
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