Treating Nausea (Qualm) in Older Adults -

Treating Nausea (Qualm) in Older Adults


Nausea is a common symptom experienced by older adults and can be caused by a variety of factors. Nausea in the elderly can be caused by medication side effects, digestive issues, and underlying medical conditions. It can also be a symptom of a serious condition, such as cancer or a stroke.

Common Causes of Nausea

One of the most common causes of nausea in older adults is medication side effects. Many medications, such as antibiotics, blood pressure medications, and painkillers, can cause nausea as a side effect. It is important for older adults to inform their healthcare provider if they are experiencing nausea, as the medication may need to be adjusted or switched.

Digestive issues, such as acid reflux and gastritis, can also cause nausea in older adults. These conditions can be caused by a poor diet, lack of physical activity, and certain medical conditions. To reduce the risk of nausea caused by digestive issues, older adults should eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, stay active, and maintain a healthy weight.

Underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, kidney disease, and diabetes, can also cause nausea in older adults. If nausea is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, and fatigue, it is important to seek medical attention. Often time, the treatments like chemotherapy of these conditions can also induce nausea and vomiting.

In some cases, nausea in older adults can be a symptom of a serious condition such as stroke. If an older adult is experiencing sudden and severe nausea along with other symptoms such as difficulty speaking or loss of vision, it is important to seek emergency medical care.

Managing Nausea in Seniors

To manage nausea in older adults, it’s important to identify and address the underlying cause. The following are common methods used to reduce the effect of nausea:

  1. Medications: Antinausea medications such as ondansetron and metoclopramide can be effective in treating nausea.
  2. Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be used to stimulate specific points on the body to alleviate nausea.
  3. Aromatherapy: Certain essential oils, such as ginger and peppermint, can be used to help alleviate nausea.
  4. Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce feelings of nausea.
  5. Diet and Nutrition: Eating small, frequent meals, avoiding strong smells and spicy foods, and staying hydrated can help alleviate nausea. Choosing a more balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet may promote better health to fight against the symptoms.
  6. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT can help the elderly person to manage their anxiety and stress which can cause nausea.

Final Words

It’s important for older adults to discuss any symptoms of nausea with their healthcare provider to determine the cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. By addressing the underlying cause, older adults can reduce their risk of nausea and improve their overall quality of life.

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