Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What are the causes of nausea?
A: Nausea can be caused by many factors, including stomach flu, viral infections of the inner ear (labyrinthitis), motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy. If you are continually nauseous, it can be more disabling than chronic pain. Successful treatment can make an enormous difference in your quality of life.
The sensation of nausea can originate in either the nervous system or the digestive tract itself. Most conventional treatments for nausea, such as Dramamine and Compazine, act on the nervous system, but products like Pepto-Bismol soothe the digestive tract directly.
The herb ginger has become a widely accepted treatment for nausea of various types.