Nausea vs Fatigue – Difference Between Nausea and Fatigue

Nausea and fatigue are the common symptoms of an upset stomach or fever. Both Nausea and fatigue occur one after the other or together, yet are different. Both these symptoms can occur because of an underlying condition or because of weird diet habits, insomnia, and stress. It is essential to prevent or control these symptoms initially, as they may lead to dire consequences.   

Nausea vs Fatigue  

The main difference between nausea and fatigue is that nausea is a sensation of desire to vomit combined with uneasiness. It has many causes and is non-specific. On the other hand, fatigue is when a person experiences extreme tiredness that does not improve even after enough sleep. If not cured, the state of Fatigue can also extend for a long period.  

Nausea vs Fatigue

Nausea is a condition wherein a person experiences extreme discomfort and a constant feeling of vomiting. It is not painful, but if not treated can cause severe issues. The major or usual causes of nausea are indigestion, food poisoning, low BP. Pregnant women experience nausea in their first trimester.   

On the other hand, fatigue is a condition of extreme exhaustion which is not usually cured by medications. Fatigue can be sub-categorized into Physical Fatigue, Mental Fatigue, etc. The usual causes of fatigue are insomnia, stress, jet lag, and it is a very complex disease. Just like physical fatigue, mental fatigue could affect one’s performance.   

Comparison Table Between Nausea and Fatigue 

Parameters of Comparison  Nausea   Fatigue 
Description  Uneasy condition accompanied by the desire to vomit  Condition of extreme tiredness 
Causes Food poisoning, medications, chemotherapy, viral and bacterial intestinal infections, etc.    Anxiety, stress, insomnia, Jet Lag, Low Blood sugar level, autoimmune diseases, etc.  
Diagnosis Diagnostic tests- Abdominal X-rays, Studying Patient history, etc.    Medical history, sleep study, blood tests, etc.  
Types   Acute Nausea, Nausea because of medications, Pregnancy Nausea, Chronic Nausea, etc.  Physical Fatigue, Mental Fatigue, Acute, and Prolonged Fatigue, etc.    
Home Remedies    Consumption of cold drinks, ginger tea, distractions like books, movies, etc.  Reducing caffeine, increasing metabolism, regulating the Diurnal rhythm, etc.    

What is Nausea?  

As mentioned above, nausea is a condition of extreme abdominal discomfort accompanied by the need to vomit. As this condition is non-specific, it has many causes. The most common cause of Nausea is a disruption in the diet, food poisoning, sleep deprivation, etc. Apart from these minor causes, there may be severe instances of abdominal infections that can prove to be a disaster if not treated at the apparent time.   

The word nausea is derived from the Greek word- Nausia, which means motion sickness. Physical factors can cause nausea, but a person can experience nausea even through mental conditions like depression.   

The vital causes of nausea are food poisoning and gastrointestinal infections. Minor yet frequent cases of nausea are reported due to pregnancy and medications. Nausea is not a gender-specific disease. It can affect anyone. The only type of nausea that is women-specific is morning sickness in pregnancy.   

Some medications can also cause nausea as a side effect. Majorly, patients undergoing chemotherapy during cancer treatment and patients undergoing migraine treatment face nausea as a symptom.   

Sometimes, nausea can also be caused due to mental conditions like depression, anxiety, as patients facing these issues usually resort to over-eating, which leads to Nausea. Severe cases of nausea are treated with proper diagnostic tests, treatment, while non-severe cases can be treated by some antiemetics (medicines used to treat nausea).   

What is Fatigue?  

Aforementioned, fatigue is a condition wherein a patient has extreme tiredness, and it does not improve even after sleeping for the required hours. Its major causes are stress, anxiety, etc. We can majorly classify fatigue into physical and mental fatigue. Physical activity can cause physical fatigue or even through long hours of traveling- jet lag. Mental Fatigue can have many reasons like stress, anxiety, depression, etc.   

Physical Fatigue is when a person’s muscles and bones have no energy to perform better. Hence the physical ability to do any activity decreases. Initially, the muscles slowly start degrading, and this phenomenon varies with every person. Some people have better metabolism and stamina. Hence, their muscles don’t degrade in the initial phase of fatigue. It also depends on the number of hours a person gets to sleep. Better sleep guarantees lower chances of fatigue.   

On the other hand, Mental Fatigue is a severe type of Fatigue, as it affects not only the cognitive ability but also the physical performance of a person. It decreases the concentration span and increases lethargy.  

Mental Fatigue can also cause many accidents as patients suffering from it usually feel sluggish and sleepy. Mental fatigue can also be a symptom of a severe neurological disorder. Patients suffering from Mental Fatigue cannot maintain consciousness for a prolonged period.   

Fatigue is a complex disorder. Hence there is no peculiar cause for the disease. It has a wide range of causes, diagnoses, and treatments. Patients suffering from Fatigue are instructed to regulate their sleep cycle also reduce their stress level. In some cases, the patients are prescribed sleeping pills.   

Main Differences Between Nausea and Fatigue  

  1. Nausea is a condition wherein patients feel the urge to vomit and is accompanied by intestinal/ abdominal discomfort, whereas fatigue is a condition of extreme exhaustion/ tiredness.  
  2. Indigestion, food poisoning, medications, pregnancy, causes nausea., while anxiety, stress, jet lag, sleep deprivation causes fatigue.  
  3. Nausea is sub-classified into acute nausea, pregnancy nausea, etc., whereas fatigue is sub-categorized into physical and mental fatigue.   
  4. The diagnostic tests of nausea are Abdominal X-rays, Gastrointestinal tests (Intestinal X-rays), while fatigue is diagnosed by studying the sleep pattern of the patient and also by running some blood tests.   
  5. Nausea is usually treated by medications (antiemetics) and by regulating diet, while fatigue can be treated by regulating the diurnal rhythm (biological clock) of the body.   

Conclusion  

From the above points, it is apparent that even if nausea and fatigue are synchronous symptoms, they differ greatly altogether. Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness along with the need to vomit, whereas fatigue is more of a condition of unresolved tiredness.  

Both nausea and fatigue are common symptoms and can occur in day-to-day life, but things get complicated if they are not treated appropriately with proper treatment and medications. Prolonged nausea and fatigue can bombard the body with numerous severe diseases. Although these symptoms can be cured with home remedies, cases of recurrent nausea and fatigue should be treated at the right time.   

References 

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra0706547 
  2. https://sigmapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1547-5069.1999.tb00420.x 
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