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What causes persistent nausea?

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Posted on Fri, 13 May 2016
Question: My friend has been nauseous for over 6 weeks. She can only eat broth (sometimes) and does not drink water just a bit of soda. She has been to her primary doctor, who recommended an upper GI, but her appointment is a couple weeks away. She called to see if the appt could be moved up but no luck. She has lost over 25 pounds during this period of time. She is tired, weak and today said she has started feeling pressure in her head. She also said she was trying to explain something to a client and she was having trouble communicating something she talks about all the time.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
She should go to the ER

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I am sorry to hear your friend has been so sick. Nausea can be from gastrointestinal problems (therefore the recommendation for an upper GI), but can be from a wide variety of other causes too - electrolyte imbalances, neurological problems/problems with the brain, malignancy, etc.

It could be something simple like gastritis that might be healed with an H2 blocker like Zantac, but without being able to examine her and get some blood tests, and possibly imaging studies, I would not be able to say.

She sounds quite ill and shouldn't wait further to be seen by a doctor. I strongly recommend that she be seen in the ER. If her insurance requires her to be referred to the ER, call the doctor on call for her doctor (usually you can reach this person by calling her doctor's office number) and explain how sick she has become and having trouble communicating. They will refer her to the ER. But she should be seen now and not wait further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (51 minutes later)
Thank you very much.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (24 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I hope she is better soon.

Detailed Answer:
If you are willing, please let me know how she is doing after she is evaluated.

Best regards,
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What causes persistent nausea?

Brief Answer: She should go to the ER Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I am sorry to hear your friend has been so sick. Nausea can be from gastrointestinal problems (therefore the recommendation for an upper GI), but can be from a wide variety of other causes too - electrolyte imbalances, neurological problems/problems with the brain, malignancy, etc. It could be something simple like gastritis that might be healed with an H2 blocker like Zantac, but without being able to examine her and get some blood tests, and possibly imaging studies, I would not be able to say. She sounds quite ill and shouldn't wait further to be seen by a doctor. I strongly recommend that she be seen in the ER. If her insurance requires her to be referred to the ER, call the doctor on call for her doctor (usually you can reach this person by calling her doctor's office number) and explain how sick she has become and having trouble communicating. They will refer her to the ER. But she should be seen now and not wait further.