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 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
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 also being sick (vomiting), you could become dehydrated. See what to do if you're vomiting.
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you:
- 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.
|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:
Do not 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 do not feel better in a few days.
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Page last reviewed: 03 May 2018
Next review due: 03 May 2021