Assessment of a patient presenting with bothersome nausea requires knowledge of a broad range of possible causes and overlapping disorders. Investigation aims to determine whether hydration and nutrition are adequate and establish a cause so treatment can be targeted. If functional nausea is diagnosed, dietary measures are the mainstay of management. Supportive approaches, psychological therapies and medication may also help, but long-term use of antiemetics is rarely advised.
Chronic nausea is an ill-defined subjective sensation of the imminent need to vomit that does not necessarily result in emesis. It is recognised as one of the most frustrating and debilitating functional gut symptoms for patients, largely because of its pervasive nature and a lack of effective therapies.