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:
- 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.
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 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: 3 May 2018
Next review due: 3 May 2021