Duration Of Current Nausea Episodes

What Causes Chronic Nausea?

Chronic nausea can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose chronic nausea, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "chronic nausea" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Fluorosis
  • Chronic Renal Insufficiency
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Enlarged Spleen
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
history of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
hiccups
moderate epigastric pain
significant epigastric pain
pain between shoulder blades
dairy product consumption
dizziness when standing up
swollen cervical nodes
migraine headaches
coffee consumption
constant thirst
having trouble concentrating
... and more than 80 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of chronic nausea:
Cause Probability Status
Intestinal Obstruction 96% Confirm
Fluorosis 25% Unlikely
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 24% Unlikely
Enlarged Spleen 4% Ruled out
Hyperparathyroidism 3% Ruled out
Chronic Renal Insufficiency 2% Ruled out
Stomach Ulcers 2% Ruled out
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Gastrointestinal Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about duration of current nausea episodes:
If you suffer significantly from unexplained nausea (at least once per week), for how long has this been a problem?
Possible responses:
→ It is not a problem / don't know
→ It started within the last week
→ It started within the last month
→ I've had it for 1 to 3 months
→ I've had it for over 3 months
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no significant nausea, recent onset nausea, nausea for 1-3 months or chronic nausea, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Delayed Gastric Emptying (Gastroparesis)

Approximately 50% of patients with chronic idiopathic nausea and vomiting evaluated in referral centers have gastroparesis.  A viral etiology was suggested in these patients and in other series when there was an acute onset of nausea and vomiting with other features of a viral illness (fever, myalgia, diarrhea, fatigue, or abdominal cramping).

Pancreatitis

Most cases of acute pancreatitis resolve within a week; chronic pancreatitis does not resolve itself and results in a slow destruction of the pancreas.

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