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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 regular sips of a cold drink

  • drink ginger or peppermint tea

  • eat foods containing ginger – such as ginger biscuits

  • eat smaller, more frequent meals

Don’t

  • 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.

Information:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: how to contact a GP

It's still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

Find out about using the NHS during COVID-19

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:

Information:

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