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How are Dizzy Spells and Nausea Related?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The connection between dizzy spells and nausea is that dizziness can often result in nausea, and many of the conditions which may cause dizzy spells can also cause a person to become nauseated. Being dizzy frequently leads to a sick feeling in the stomach because it tends to make the room or person feel as though he or she is spinning in circles or swaying back and forth. This simulated feeling of motion can lead to a sensation similar to that of feeling sea sick, and may result in nausea and vomiting. Additionally, some conditions, such as inner ear infection, can cause both nausea and dizziness.

There are many conditions which may lead to dizziness and nausea. Common viruses such as influenza are an example, as well as inner ear infections, hypothyroidism, low blood pressure, and lack of oxygen to the brain. Sometimes each condition exists on its own, while other times the stomach issues come as a result of the dizziness. Treating the underlying problem is the best way to alleviate discomfort, although long standing conditions which cannot be treated right away may require additional medications to be administered.

Anyone who experiences dizzy spells and nausea for more than a day should contact a doctor or other emergency personnel. Any severe cases of either condition may be reported sooner, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain in the stomach, head or chest, or vision changes. Any of these signs could signal a serious condition or medical emergency such as heart attack or stroke.

Dizzy spells and nausea may also come as the result of certain medications. If these problems persists, the dosage may have to be lowered or an alternative medication may be given. If neither of these options is possible, additional medication may be needed to counteract the effects.

Most of the time, dizzy spells and nausea do not signal anything life threatening, but occasionally they may be the early symptoms of an underlying disease such as brain tumor. For this reason, patients are advised to seek medication attention if symptoms persist. Medical attention is primarily only needed if home remedies do not alleviate discomfort. These can include eating a healthy snack to raise blood sugar, resting in a dark and quiet room, drinking plenty of fluids if dehydration is a potential issue, and taking an anti-nausea medication.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Feryll — On Sep 10, 2014

I am always concerned about getting headaches and nausea whenever I get out on the water. I don't get sick most of the time, but I know there is always a chance. When the water is calm, I am fine for the most part, but when the waves get choppy, I spend most of my time trying to keep my lunch down.

The worst dizziness I ever felt was on a whale watch boat. It was the end of the whale watching season and a storm was moving in. I was fine as long as the boat was moving steadily ahead with the motor powering us through the water.

When we stopped to watch the whales and the waves were bouncing us all over the place, I couldn't move because when I moved my head the smallest amount, I felt like I was going to throw up. And I knew I couldn't make it all the way to the bathroom at the back of the boat.

Also, it didn't help when a couple other passengers got sick right where they were sitting. That was by far my worst experience on a boat or ship.

By Drentel — On Sep 09, 2014

When we were kids, my brother and I loved to spin around and around in circles in my grandmother's yard. I don't know why the spinning sessions only took place in her front yard, but for whatever reason that was the place where we played our spinning game.

We would get so dizzy we couldn't stand, and we would roll around the ground laughing until we regained our balance and could stand again and start over. Then one day, my uncle was watching us and told us the spinning would make us sick. Up until that point, spinning had never made either of us sick, but the next time we spun, I got a headache and started feeling sick to my stomach.

From that point on, I could not spin without getting sick. I know the sickness must be psychological, but I can't shake it, and to this day any time I ride an amusement park ride or anything going in circles, I get headaches and nausea. My brother was never bothered by my uncle's prediction.

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