Nausea is considered a nonspecific symptom that can be triggered by a variety of conditions, illnesses, medications and internal or external factors. Whilst nausea can occur in perfectly healthy people and go away on its own, it is also a symptom associated with withdrawal from substances such as drugs or alcohol.
Individuals who are dependent on drugs or alcohol often undergo a detoxification process during their recovery. Detoxifying the body from substance abuse involves a gradual reduction of substance intake until the individual is no longer mentally or physically reliant on drugs or alcohol.
Usually, the process of detoxification is gradual as abruptly ceasing a substance the body has become dependent on can cause severe and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. However, even during gradual detox, patients will experience some symptoms of withdrawal. One of the most common withdrawal symptoms is nausea.
What Is Nausea?
Nausea is the feeling of sickness or the feeling of needing to vomit. Many patients often describe nausea as a feeling of unease or unsettlement in the stomach or as feeling sick. Nausea is not a disease or condition itself but rather a symptom usually associated with a condition or illness.
Feeling nauseous is not always a symptom of illness. Many healthy individuals experience nausea from time to time, sometimes for no clear reason. Often the feeling will go away without any treatment and with no real explanation. However, nausea is sometimes the symptomatic precursor to vomiting.
Types of Nausea
As nausea is a symptom rather than a condition, there are several different types. Typically, nausea is split into three categories: nausea stemming from problems inside the abdomen, nausea stemming from issues outside the abdomen and nausea triggered by medication or metabolic disorders.
The most common type of acute nausea stemming from inside the abdomen is gastrointestinal nausea. Gastrointestinal nausea refers to nauseousness as a result of gastrointestinal infections or gastrointestinal disorders. Other types of inside the abdomen nausea include nausea caused by inflammatory conditions and abdominal obstructions.
Types of nausea caused by problems outside the abdomen include inner-ear diseases, psychiatric illnesses and inter-cerebral disorders.
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Causes of Nausea
Nausea occurs as a result of the irritation of nerve endings in either the stomach or duodenum, which is located in the small intestine. This irritation stimulates both the chemoreceptor trigger zone and vomiting centre located in the medulla oblongata of the brain, which controls the feeling of nausea.
The conditions that can cause this biological response include food poisoning, vertigo, bacterial and viral infections and cardiopulmonary conditions, including heart attacks.
Nausea is also caused by the ingestion of or withdrawal from alcohol, drugs and particular medications. This is most common if an individual has taken too much of a particular substance or has become dependent on a substance. However, nausea is also a side effect of some drugs.
Symptoms of Nausea
Nausea in itself is considered a symptom; however, the signs that an individual is experiencing nausea are the feeling of an unsettled stomach, feeling the need to be sick, intestinal gas in the form of belching and in some cases, vomiting.
Nausea can also sometimes cause bloating and abdominal pain.
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