Dizziness and nausea can be linked to various health conditions. Diagnosing the underlying cause is key to treating and resolving these two issues.
Dizziness is a sensation that is a bit difficult to describe clinically. You might feel:
- weak, faint, or just “off”
- as if you’re spinning or are in motion
- like you’re losing your balance
Nausea is an uncomfortable sensation in your stomach and the feeling that you may need to vomit.
Feelings of dizziness and nausea can vary from person to person, depending on the underlying cause. This article looks at possible causes of dizziness and nausea and treatment options.
Dizziness can be caused by new, acute problems, or chronic and ongoing health issues.
Potential causes of dizziness
Some acute issues that could lead to dizziness include:
To identify a cause of dizziness, a doctor will ask how often you feel dizzy, how long it lasts, and how many times it has happened.
If you’re having ongoing dizziness, a doctor may investigate the possibility of a chronic disorder such as:
- inner ear problems
- Meniere’s disease
- orthostatic hypotension
- some heart problems
- mental health issues like depression
A doctor will also ask about any medications or recreational substances you use and what you did when you became dizzy. Some medications, drugs, alcohol, or activities can all contribute to feelings of lightheadedness.
For most of these causes, treating the underlying issue is key to resolving your dizziness. This may mean better managing your blood pressure, blood sugar, or nutrition. You may also need to review your activities, diet, and medications.
A doctor may suggest
- anti-anxiety medications
- medications that treat nausea
- diuretics (also called water pills)
Do not start taking new over-the-counter (OTC) medications to self-treat your dizziness. There may be a more significant issue causing the problem that should be addressed. Additional medications or supplements could worsen your experience.
Nausea is another generic symptom that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Nausea can appear with many conditions.
Potential causes of nausea
Common causes of nausea include:
- food poisoning
- food intolerances
- food allergies
- motion sickness
- pregnancy or morning sickness
- alcohol consumption
- some medications
- acid reflux
To diagnose nausea, a doctor will ask you about:
- your health history
- how often you feel nauseated
- what kinds of foods you eat or activities you do before feeling nauseated
- what seems to help the feeling go away
Treating nausea may be as simple as eliminating specific foods or triggers.
If you experience nausea that returns often and the underlying cause is more difficult to identify or treat, your doctor may prescribe medications that can help control nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
You can also try home remedies that can help with nausea, including:
When to seek medical help for nausea
Nausea that doesn’t go away and causes you to lose weight usually warrants a trip to a healthcare professional. If you become nauseated alongside other symptoms like fainting or shortness of breath, these may also cause concern.
Frequent nausea that leads to vomiting could result from
Dizziness and nausea are relatively common symptoms across many acute and chronic health conditions.
Repeated episodes of either symptom are usually a cause for concern, as well as episodes that end in worsening effects like loss of consciousness or prolonged and uncontrollable vomiting.
Information about how often, how long, and what happens before your symptoms can help a doctor identify triggers and maybe some helpful treatment options.