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Nausea is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit.[1] It may precede vomiting, but a person can have nausea without vomiting. When prolonged, it is a debilitating symptom.[2]

Nausea is a relatively common symptom experienced by patients with ME/CFS. It can range from mild to severe and can be relapsing or constant.


Katrina Berne reports a prevalence of 60-90% for nausea (as well as a wider prevalence of 50-90% for IBS symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, gas, and abdominal pain).[3]

Symptom recognition[edit]

Although nausea is not listed as a symptom necessary for diagnosis in any of the current case definitions, it is frequently listed as a secondary symptom in information for patients and physicians.[4][5]

Notable studies[edit]

Possible causes[edit]

Possible causes of nausea in ME/CFS patients include orthostatic intolerance,[6] gut inflammation,[7] and slower gastric motility.[8]

Severe nausea may be caused by the digestive motility disorder, gastroparesis, that can be a co-morbid condition with ME/CFS. Gastroparesis is a neuro-muscular abnormality that causes delayed gastric emptying which, in turn, causes a premature full feeling while eating, bloating, nausea, acid reflux, regurgitation, belching, and occasional vomiting.[9]

Nausea may be caused by a comorbidity such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Potential treatments[edit]

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Metz, A; Hebbard, G (Sep 2007), "Nausea and vomiting in adults--a diagnostic approach", Aust Fam Physician, 36 (9): 668–692, PMID 17885699 
  3. Berne, Katrina (1 Dec 1995), Running on Empty: The Complete Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS), 2nd ed., Hunter House, p. 58, ISBN 978-0897931915 
  7. Lakhan, S. E., & Kirchgessner, A. (2010). Gut inflammation in chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7, 79.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history