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Nausea Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Nausea. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had the nausea?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic. If acute must consider gastroenteritis.

  2. What time of the day is nausea worse?

    Why: may help determine the cause e.g. pregnancy sickness usually is worse at the start of the day; nausea and vomiting on waking may occur in the morning with excess alcohol use the night before; early morning nausea and vomiting is also characteristic of renal failure and raised intracranial pressure.

  3. Is there anything that makes the nausea worse?

    Why: e.g. eating food may aggravate a gastric ulcer; eating fried or fatty foods will aggravate biliary disease and functional dyspepsia ( dyspepsia when no specific cause can be demonstrated); alcohol will aggravate gastritis, peptic ulcer and pancreatitis.

  4. Is there anything you have found that makes the nausea better?

    Why: e.g. eating food may relive a duodenal ulcer.

  5. What effect do food, milk and antacids have?

    Why: if nausea is relieved by food and antacids may suggest duodenal ulcer. If nausea is brought on by food may suggest cholecystitis, gastric ulcer or reactions to toxins in food such as MSG or sulfites.

  6. Are you pregnant?

    Why: In the first trimester of pregnancy, nausea and vomiting are common.

  7. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, chronic pancreatitis, pernicious anemia (may increase the risk of stomach cancer), renal failure, diabetes mellitus, hypercalcaemia (elevated calcium levels).

  8. Past surgical history?

    Why: previous abdominal surgery increases the risk of abdominal adhesions which may cause nausea and vomiting; nausea and loss of appetite are common after post-vagotomy operations.

  9. Medications?

    Why: e.g. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (2-4 times the risk of gastric ulcers), aspirin, corticosteroids, digitalis, certain blood pressure lowering medications, some antibiotics - may cause gastric irritation, gastritis and nausea. Narcotics (such as morphine), cancer chemotherapy agents and iron preparations may also cause persisting nausea.

  10. Allergies?

    Why: e.g. drug induced angioedema may cause cramp-like abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

  11. Nicotine smoking?

    Why: cigarette smoking is an important cause of indigestion and nausea.

  12. Alcohol history?

    Why: alcohol is an important cause of gastric irritation, gastritis and nausea, both in the occasional drinker, especially red wine, with a large evening meal and in the problem drinker with alcoholic gastritis.

  13. Illicit drug history?

    Why: e.g. cocaine ingestion may cause mesenteric ischemia; narcotics such as heroin and methadone may cause nausea.

  14. Family history?

    Why: e.g. peptic ulcers.

  15. Vomiting?

    Why: establish the duration, frequency and intensity of vomiting, and particularly its relationship to eating. Also establish the contents of the vomit which may help to determine the level of bowel obstruction.

  16. Abdominal pain or discomfort, if so can you point to exactly where the discomfort is and where it radiates to?

    Why: must consider acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder usually due to obstruction from a gallstone), acute appendicitis, pyelonephritis (bacterial infection of the kidney), pancreatitis, renal stones and peritonitis.

  17. Fever?

    Why: may suggest a localized abdominal condition (e.g. cholecystitis , acute appendicitis) or a systemic condition (e.g. tuberculosis, brucellosis, yellow fever).

  18. Waterbrash (excess secretion of saliva into the mouth)?

    Why: may suggest peptic ulcer.

  19. Pain on swallowing?

    Why: may suggest stomach cancer.

  20. Vertigo (a sensation of a whirling motion , either of oneself or of external objects)?

    Why: must consider inner ear diseases such a Meniere's disease and labyrinthitis.

  21. Headache?

    Why: must consider migraine, concussion, brain tumors, meningitis and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

  22. Diarrhea?

    Why: may suggest gastroenteritis, Crohn's disease.

  23. Symptoms of angina or heart attack?

    Why: a common mistake is to attribute the discomfort of angina or a heart attack to a disorder of the gastro-intestinal tract. Must consider heartburn symptoms to be ischemic heart disease until proved otherwise. Angina and heart attack may be associated with nausea.

  24. Significant weight loss?

    Why: may suggest stomach cancer, intestinal or mesenteric ischemia, chronic pancreatitis, chronic gastritis, renal failure and congestive heart failure.

  25. Tinnitus?

    Why: consider Meniere's disease.

  26. Symptoms of gastroenteritis?

    Why: e.g. nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea.

  27. Symptoms of peptic ulcer?

    Why: e.g. intermittent symptoms of gnawing or burning-type pain in the epigastrium (midline, under the ribs) which can be located by finger point, pain is worse before meals and relieved by taking antacids or food. Pain may waken the person at night. Nausea may accompany the pain, but vomiting is not frequent.

  28. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis?

    Why: e.g. deep boring upper abdominal pain, often radiating through to the back. Nausea and vomiting accompany the pain in most cases.

  29. Symptoms of gallstones?

    Why: e.g. gradual onset of severe constant right upper abdominal pain which may pass into the back. It can be associated with nausea and vomiting. Symptoms are induced by a fatty meal.

  30. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

    Why: e.g. alternating diarrhea and constipation, pellet-like stools, abdominal bloating, flatulence, belching and nausea.

  31. Symptoms of mesenteric ischemia (blockage of the major small bowel arteries)?

    Why: e.g. severe, poorly localized abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea 30 minutes after a meal, constipation. It is predominantly a disease of the elderly.

  32. Symptoms of pregnancy?

    Why: e.g. missing periods, breast tenderness, breast enlargement - In the first trimester of pregnancy, nausea and vomiting are common.

  33. Symptoms of acute cholecystitis?

    Why: e.g. right upper abdominal pain radiating to the right side of the upper back. Fever, nausea and vomiting are often present, but the vomiting is rarely severe.

  34. Symptoms of pyloric or intestinal obstruction?

    Why: e.g. vomiting, usually without pain. Vomiting is projectile and huge in volume, and the vomit contains particles of the previous day's food. May be due to active or healed peptic ulcer, stomach cancer or pancreas cancer.

  35. Symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis?

    Why: e.g. early satiety, abdominal fullness after a meal, nausea and loss of appetite.

  36. Migraine headache?

    Why: e.g. unilateral headache which may be accompanied by a prodrome of visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Nausea:

The following list of conditions have 'Nausea' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Nausea or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Nausea:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Nausea' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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