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

  • eat or cook strong-smelling food
  • eat hot, fried or greasy food
  • eat too quickly
  • have a large drink with meals
  • lie down soon after eating
  • wear clothes that are tight around your waist or tummy

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 111 for advice if you can't see a GP.

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.

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:

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.

Page last reviewed: 03/05/2018
Next review due: 03/05/2021

Call 111

If you can’t speak to your GP or don’t know what to do next.