Nausea and Vomiting

This guide was not designed to substitute for office-based care. Rather, the purpose of this advice guide is to assist you to get the most out of a medical evaluation that is performed by your doctor.

Repeated episodes of nausea and vomiting can arise from a variety of medical causes, including some serious conditions. Vomiting can deplete you of fluids and electrolytes, sorepeated vomiting requires medical treatment if it results in a lasting lightheaded feeling or weakness. Please take the time today to arrange a medical evaluation, if you have not already done so.

Identifying the source of nausea and vomiting can require multiple doctor visits and multiple tests. By completing our advice program before your evaluation, you may be able to more clearly identify symptoms or features related to your nausea that are clues to its cause. Our goal is to help you proceed more quickly with your doctor toward the tests or procedures that can correctly identify the cause. This guide can not adequately consider significant previous medical history that you may have. With a more full understanding of your past health, your own physician may choose a different path to evaluate your symptoms.

You will encounter a number of questions about your symptoms as you proceed through this program. Your answers to these questions will help us to personalize our recommendations for you.

Click here to begin.

To begin thinking about your nausea and vomiting, we should know whether the problem is brand new or whether this has been a recurring problem.

How long have you had your symptoms?

My symptoms began within the last five days.

My symptoms have been recurring for more than five days.

Some causes of nausea and vomiting also cause bleeding into the digestive tract. Blood in vomit can appear red or (due to a chemical change from stomach acid) dark and grainy, like coffee grounds. Deteriorated blood in the stool may be black and have a tar-like texture.

Have you vomited blood or "coffee grounds," or have you noticed black tar-like stools?

Yes, the look of my vomit or stools suggests bleeding.

No, this does not apply to me.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »