Unexplained nausea and vomiting

Opinion statement

Nausea and vomiting are debilitating symptoms for patients, and can be challenging problems in diagnosis and management for physicians. Initial efforts must be made to establish a specific diagnosis that represents the pathophysiological cause of the nausea and vomiting. If a specific diagnosis is made (for example, antral ulceration), then specific therapy for the lesion will usually eradicate the nausea and vomiting associated with the specific disease. When standard gastrointestinal diseases are eliminated as a cause of nausea and vomiting, then gastric neuromuscular disorders (disorders of motility) should be considered as potential causes of these symptoms. Gastric neuromuscular disorders range from gastric dysrhythmias and abnormalities of gastric accommodation to frank gastroparesis. Treatments for nausea and vomiting due to gastric neuromuscular dysfunction include: 1) patient education and dietary counseling; 2) gastrokinetic drugs; 3) visceral, sensory afferent and CNS drugs; 4) gastrostomy for stomach venting; 5) jejunostomy for enteral feeding access; and 6) acustimulation and gastric pacemaker therapies. Treatment approaches based on the pathophysiology of gastric neuromuscular dysfunction(s) and on patient education aid in the successful management of unexplained nausea and vomiting.

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Koch, K.L. Unexplained nausea and vomiting. Curr Treat Options Gastro 3, 303–313 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11938-000-0044-5

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  • Gastric Emptying
  • Cisapride
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy
  • Functional Dyspepsia
  • Gastroparesis