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Things to do when you feel nauseous

Feeling sick (nausea) - NHS

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


  • get plenty of fresh air

  • distract yourself – for example, listen to music or watch a film

  • take regular sips of a cold drink

  • drink ginger or peppermint tea

  • eat foods containing ginger – such as ginger biscuits

  • eat smaller, more frequent meals


  • 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

If you're being sick

If you're also being sick (vomiting), you could become dehydrated.

Find out what to do if you're vomiting

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you:

  • are feeling sick and do not feel better in a few days
  • often feel sick (it keeps coming back)

The GP can look for the cause and suggest treatments.

They may prescribe anti-sickness medicine if needed.

Call 111 for advice if you cannot see a GP.

Immediate action required: 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 do not self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.

Possible causes of feeling sick.
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


Do not worry if you're not sure what's causing you to feel sick. Try the things that may stop you feeling sick and see a GP if you do not feel better in a few days.

Page last reviewed: 12 May 2021
Next review due: 12 May 2024

Causes, Multiple Methods To Try

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Nausea is that uncomfortable, queasy feeling you get in your stomach that makes you feel like you’re going to vomit. It may be triggered by a virus, a digestive condition, pregnancy, or even an unpleasant odor.

Many times, it’s unclear why nausea strikes. Whatever the reason, when it hits, you’ll do almost anything to make it go away.

Here’s a list of 16 ways to get rid of nausea. Many nausea remedies don’t necessarily cure the condition, but they may help you feel more comfortable.

If a parent ever told you not to lie down after eating, they were on to something. When you lie flat, gastric juices may rise and increase feelings of nausea and overall discomfort, especially if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Crunching your stomach may also worsen nausea since it compresses the area and makes you less comfortable in general. When you’re nauseous, try reclining with your upper body elevated, and move around as little as possible.

There’s a reason you see carsick people with their heads practically hanging out of the car window.

Fresh air may ease nausea symptoms in many people, although it’s not clear why. It may get rid of sickening odors, or it may simply help you focus on something other than the nausea.

Try sitting in front of a fan or window at the first sign of nausea, especially if you’re overheated.

A soothing, cool compress placed on the back of the neck could help ease nausea. This is because when nausea occurs, we sometimes seek out remedies that cool our body down to provide relief.

Placing a cool compress on the back of your neck for several minutes can be soothing. It also helps decrease your body temperature which, if high, may cause nausea.

Acupressure is an alternative therapy that involves applying pressure to specific areas on the body to ease different issues.

One literature review of 23 studies suggested that acupressure may have been effective for managing nausea in 16 of those 23 studies, primarily in pregnant people and those undergoing chemotherapy. But more research into other causes of nausea must be done before any conclusions can be made.

The pressure point for nausea is on your inner wrist, about 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) down, in between two large tendons. There’s general agreement that pressing on this pressure point for a few minutes may provide some nausea relief.

Talk with a healthcare professional to get more information on acupressure for nausea.

Meditation, the practice of focusing and calming the mind, may help relieve nausea.

One 2015 study in 86 pregnant women experiencing moderate nausea and vomiting found that adding 3 weeks of meditation to their therapeutic plan significantly improved outcomes during and 1 month after treatment.

More studies are needed to definitively conclude if meditation is beneficial for getting rid of nausea.

Deep breathing is a meditation technique. You can also do it on your own to quell stress-related nausea. Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold your breath for three seconds, and slowly breathe out. Repeat several times until your nausea subsides.

Sometimes, managing nausea is simply mind over matter. The more you dwell on your nausea, the more nauseous you’re likely to feel.

The next time nausea comes on, distract yourself by reading a book or watching television. If motion doesn’t make you feel worse, do some light housework or go for a slow walk — anything to get your mind off how you feel.

While this remedy is often recommended, it currently doesn’t have many scientific studies behind it, so it shouldn’t be used in cases of extreme nausea.

If you can’t eat or drink due to nausea, dehydration may occur. Conversely, nausea is also a symptom of dehydration.

When you feel queasy, if possible, sip fluids throughout the day. If straight water turns your stomach, try drinking decaf tea, or water with fresh fruit slices.

Chamomile tea is a popular home remedy for nausea. It has a sedative effect that may help you sleep when you’re nauseous. It may also help ease anxiety.

While some research has looked at the role chamomile may play in easing nausea, much more research is currently needed to understand how it may provide relief.

Chamomile tea bags are available at most grocery stores, natural health stores, and online. Make your own chamomile tea by pouring one cup boiling water over a tablespoon of dried or fresh chamomile flowers. Steep for at least 5 minutes, and strain.

Lemons contain citric acid, a naturally occurring compound thought to aid digestion and soothe the stomach. Try adding freshly-squeezed lemon juice to water and sip throughout the day.

If nausea is due to constipation, drinking warm water with lemon juice may stimulate your bowels. Go easy, though. Ingesting too much lemon juice in a brief period may make nausea worse.

The scent of lemons may also ease nausea, although more studies are needed to confirm this. According to a 2014 study, inhaling lemon essential oil helped reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant participants.

A 2020 study even suggested that a lollipop with lemon aroma could significantly ease feelings of nausea during pregnancy.

If you don’t have lemon essential oil on hand, simply cut a fresh lemon in half and breathe the scent in.

Ginger is arguably the most popular home remedy for nausea. According to a 2020 scientific review, ginger is suggested to be effective for managing mild to moderate nausea, although more research is still needed.

To help nausea, eat a small piece of fresh or candied ginger. You can also drink ginger tea, which you’ll find in grocery stores, natural health stores, and online.

Make your own ginger tea by pouring 1 cup (237 milliliters) boiling water over a 1-inch (2. 5-centimeter) piece of peeled, fresh, ginger root. Steep for at least 5 minutes, strain if you want, and enjoy.

A recent 2021 study involving 103 hospitalized patients suggested that peppermint oil was an effective remedy for nausea relief. You can take peppermint capsules or drink peppermint tea to experience these benefits.

Look for peppermint tea at grocery and natural health stores or online. Or make your own by pouring one cup boiling water over a heaping teaspoon of fresh peppermint leaves. Steep for at least 5 minutes, and strain to preference.

Inhaling peppermint essential oil may also ease nausea post-operation and after anesthesia according to a 2016 study in heart surgery patients, and a 2020 study in abdominal surgery patients.

There’s an old wives’ tale that drinking carbonated beverages such as ginger ale or cola helps tame tummy troubles. The opposite is often true.

Carbonated drinks may cause bloating and worsen acid reflux and GERD, all of which may cause nausea. Although, the relationship between carbonated beverages and worsening nausea has not been well established by research. In addition, most fizzy beverages may be very sweet, which could make your nausea worse.

If you must drink a fizzy drink, let it go flat or dilute it with water before drinking.

Following a bland diet may help nausea from worsening or prevent you from vomiting. The most common recommended diet for recovering from nausea is the BRAT diet — bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

You can also eat small amounts of:

  • saltines
  • plain pasta or noodles
  • plain baked or mashed potatoes
  • scrambled eggs
  • hard-boiled eggs

Avoid fried foods, dairy products like cheese and milk, meat, and foods high in fiber until nausea subsides.

While the BRAT diet is often recommended, it doesn’t have very many scientific studies behind it. Talk with a healthcare professional for more information on the BRAT diet.

Nausea medications are called antiemetics. When nausea is severe, you may need an OTC medication to help calm and soothe the stomach.

Some options are:

  • Emetrol
  • Nauzene
  • Dramamine
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Gravol

If you’re pregnant, don’t take any OTC medications without consulting your doctor first.

In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved Diclegis, a combination of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and the antihistamine doxylamine, as a treatment for pregnancy-related nausea.

Vitamin B6 on its own has had mixed results for treating nausea according to a recent review comparing it against ginger or no treatment at all during pregnancy. The typical regimen is between 30 and 100 milligrams daily in one to three divided doses for up to 3 weeks.

Too much vitamin B6 may worsen nausea, however. It may also cause serious side effects, such as:

  • abnormal heart rhythm
  • tingling
  • decreased muscle tone

For this reason, only take Diclegis or vitamin B6 for nausea under your doctor’s supervision.

It’s always important to discuss all medications with your doctor while pregnant to avoid those that may interact negatively with you or your child.

Your doctor may recommend other approaches first, as most nausea in pregnancy subsides by the fourth month, or second trimester.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil comes from an active compound in cannabis. CBD oil doesn’t contain THC, the main cannabinoid in cannabis that alters mental state.

Research is ongoing in human trials and more studies are still needed in larger groups of people with different causes of nausea.

However, some studies have shown promising results. CBD oil is available in many forms, including:

  • liquids
  • pastes
  • capsules
  • vapes
  • edibles
  • sprays

Dosing isn’t regulated and recommendations vary, so read the instructions on the package carefully and check with a medical professional before use. Only use medical-grade CBD oil to treat nausea.

CBD oil isn’t legal in every state, so be sure to check your state’s laws before purchasing or using it, and buy from a reputable source. Some states may allow CBD only with a doctor’s prescription.

When other symptoms accompany nausea, it may be serious. For instance, nausea with chest pain is a classic sign of a heart attack. Nausea with a severe headache or severe dizziness may indicate a neurological issue.

See your doctor if episodes of nausea last more than one month, or you have nausea and unexplained weight loss.

Get emergency help if you have nausea and:

  • severe abdominal pain or cramping
  • chest pain
  • blurred vision
  • high fever and stiff neck
  • confusion
  • severe headache

Dehydration and nausea often go together. Get prompt medical attention if you have nausea and other symptoms of dehydration such as:

  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • excessive thirst
  • weakness
  • dark urine
  • infrequent urination

Should I make myself throw up to stop nausea?

Making yourself throw up isn’t recommended for easing nausea. The remedies listed above may be more helpful when it comes to providing relief.

What sleeping position is best for nausea?

There’s no best sleeping position to stop nausea. Talk with your healthcare team if you start to feel like nausea is significantly impacting your sleep.

What helps COVID-19 nausea?

Many of the remedies listed above may help to provide relief if you experience nausea as a possible symptom of COVID-19.

Most nausea is temporary and not serious. Home remedies and OTC medications may help, but sometimes nausea may still lead to vomiting. Vomiting often reduces nausea or makes it go away. However, vomiting and nausea can lead to dehydration.

These remedies are recommended for adults. Because children can get dehydrated much more quickly, bring your child in to see a doctor if they’re vomiting for more than 12 hours.

Many prescription medications can also cause nausea. If you regularly feel nauseous after taking a medication, talk to your doctor to see if another medication is available.

What to do with nausea? | Ameda Family Clinic


1. Do not lie down

When you lie down, stomach acid can rise up your esophagus, making you feel more sick and uncomfortable. Because of this, it is not advised to lie down immediately after eating, especially if you suffer from acid reflux. Also, try not to squeeze your abdominal muscles so as not to squeeze your stomach. If you feel sick, sit down and move as little as possible.

2. Open a window or sit in front of a fan

This will remove bad odors and distract you. Fresh air relieves nausea. That is why those who are motion sick in transport try to lean out of the window.

3. Apply a cold compress

Nausea may cause fever. Place a cold compress on the back of your neck for a few minutes. This will help bring down the temperature and soothe nausea.

4. Breathe deeply

This is especially helpful if your nausea is caused by stress or anxiety. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold your breath for three seconds, and exhale slowly. Repeat several times.

5. Get distracted

The more you think about nausea, the worse you feel. Try distracting yourself with a book or movie. If you're at work, take a few deep breaths and then do something you've been putting off for a long time, like writing a report.

6. Drink more fluids

Nausea can be a symptom of dehydration, but if you drink a lot of fluids at once, the discomfort will only get worse. Drink in small sips throughout the day. If you don't feel like drinking plain water, drink water with pieces of fruit or decaffeinated tea.

7. Drink chamomile tea

Chamomile is a well-known folk remedy for nausea. In addition, it calms and helps to fall asleep. Pour a tablespoon of chamomile flowers with a glass of boiling water, let it brew for five minutes and drink.

8. Smell the lemon

Lemons contain citric acid, which is good for digestion. If nausea is caused by constipation, warm water with lemon juice will help stimulate the bowels. Just do not overdo it - an excessive amount of citric acid can increase nausea.

Even the smell of lemons helps to get rid of nausea. Smell an essential oil or just a fresh cut lemon.

9. Eat a piece of ginger

Ginger has antiemetic properties. For nausea, eat a small piece of fresh or candied ginger, or drink tea with it.

10. Brew mint

Take mint capsules or drink mint tea. The smell of essential oil or fresh mint leaves can also help relieve nausea.

11. Do not drink carbonated drinks

Gases in such drinks can cause bloating and sour belching. And the abundance of sugar in them will only increase nausea. If there is nothing but a carbonated drink, wait until the gases come out of it, and only then drink.

12. Do not eat junk food

Bananas, rice, applesauce are usually advised to recover from nausea. You can also eat some pasta without sauce, mashed potatoes, boiled eggs. Avoid fried, dairy, meat, and fiber-rich foods until the nausea subsides.

13. Seek medical attention

If nausea is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention. For example, nausea and chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack. And nausea and severe headache or dizziness may indicate problems with the nervous system.

Be sure to see your doctor if your nausea doesn't go away within a month, or if it's accompanied by unexplained weight loss.


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When to call an ambulance

Almost anything can lead to nausea: problems with the digestive tract, low blood pressure, certain medications, stress, pregnancy and much more. But sometimes it can be a symptom of dangerous conditions that require urgent medical attention. Dial 103 or 112 if you have nausea and any of these symptoms:

  • severe acute chest pain;
  • pain that radiates to the arm, back, neck or jaw;
  • labored breathing;
  • vomiting of blood, like coffee grounds;
  • severe headache and stiff neck muscles;
  • swelling of the face, especially around the mouth;
  • blurred vision;
  • severe confusion in the head and drowsiness;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • severe abdominal pain;
  • vomiting and fever over 39degrees;
  • rapid breathing and pulse;
  • vomiting and very severe headache, especially if this has not happened before;
  • excessive thirst, dry mouth, infrequent or no urination, dark urine, severe weakness, dizziness, blackout on standing up - these indicate dehydration.

These signs may indicate a heart attack, cerebrovascular accident, severe infections, including meninges, internal bleeding and other conditions.

When you need to see a doctor with nausea

Even if life is out of danger and an ambulance is not needed, in some cases with nausea it is still better to go to the doctor, and as soon as possible. Make an appointment if:

  • you have recently had a head injury;
  • vomiting lasts a day in an adult or several hours in a child under six years of age;
  • nausea lasts more than a week and there is a possibility of pregnancy;
  • nauseous for several days, but not getting better;
  • attacks of nausea and vomiting have been happening for more than a month;
  • nausea and vomiting led to unexplained weight loss.

How to get rid of nausea

Treatment for nausea will depend on the underlying cause. But in any case, you can try to alleviate the condition using simple methods.

1. Rest

Rest can help relieve nausea because activity can make you vomit. It is better to do this while sitting or half-sitting so that the head is about 40 cm above the level of the legs. This is important because lying down can cause stomach acid to travel up the esophagus and increase discomfort.

2. Get distracted

You can listen to music or watch a movie so you don't have to think about nausea. But if you get sick in transport, then it’s better not to look at the phone and not read books - it will only vomit faster.

3. Ventilate

Fresh air relieves nausea rather quickly. Therefore, you can open a window or go outside if possible. It will also help if there are strong irritating odors around.

4. Have a cold drink

Water or sips of juice or soda can also prevent vomiting. It is better that the liquid is cool. It is believed that sweetened drinks even better soothe the stomach, but it is worth observing the measure - too sweet foods only make it worse.

5. Suck on a lollipop

All lozenges and sucks can be used. They need to be sucked, not chewed. They not only help to get rid of nausea, but also distract.

6. Eat something with ginger

Ginger is often advised against nausea in toxicosis, motion sickness and even during chemotherapy. Some research confirms that it is effective, inexpensive and safe. You can try fresh ginger, dried ginger, ginger tea, candied fruits, or even gingerbread cookies.

7. Drink mint tea

Mint tea also relieves nausea. Peppermint contains natural essential oils that should help and are unlikely to aggravate the condition. The drink should not be very hot, and you need to drink it in small sips.

Things to avoid to make nausea worse

Certain tastes, smells, or activities only make nausea worse, so it's best to:

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