A few basic tests will often rule out serious pathology in a patient with nausea. The GP must decide how far to investigate before taking an observational approach or referring the patient to a specialist.
A correction for this article was published in the August 2015 issue of Medicine Today, and the full text PDF for this article (see link above) has been corrected.
- Nausea is a common presenting symptom and is often idiopathic or functional.
- Organic causes are usually apparent from a patient’s history and physical examination.
- A few basic investigations will rule in or out most underlying causes.
- Referral of patients to a gastroenterologist should be considered when the diagnosis is in doubt, there is the suspicion of an underlying gastrointestinal cause or to reassure the patient.
- Consider anxiety as an underlying or contributing factor to nausea.
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