Clinical investigations from the RACP

Investigating adults with recurrent nausea and vomiting

Matthew Hall



In investigating the adult with recurrent nausea and vomiting, not only should a gastrointestinal cause be sought but also functional, neurological and psychiatric causes should be considered.

Key Points

  • Recurrent nausea and vomiting is a common clinical problem that is managed by the GP.
  • Often, the pattern of symptoms or associated symptoms will guide investigations and management.
  • If the cause is not clear, screening blood and urine tests may suggest the underlying aetiology.
  • Neurological, psychiatric and functional causes should not be overlooked.
  • Alarm symptoms such as weight loss, bleeding or an abdominal mass should prompt rapid referral.