Why is nausea so unpleasant?

And I apologize for reminding you of same. Heh. But really, I was nauseous earlier today, and while I was sitting there, I somehow got the clarity of mind to notice how truly awful it was. And now, I’m curious: why? I can understand pain being a motivator, and all that, but man – nausea is just about the worst damn thing in the world. Its not any sort of cumulative stomach pain, either…its a distinct “bad” feeling, in a way thats hard to describe; it doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than making people think, “I MUST END THIS!”.

So, sorry for the sloppy OP, but – anyone have any clue? Does this serve a purpose? Is it vestigial? An accident of evolution?

I’d imagine it’s a survival trait. If you ate something and didn’t know what it was, if you felt like hell soon after because you were poisoned that would be a big motivator not to eat those same kinds of things anymore.

i agree, a survival trait. there is a propensity for a nausea reaction to trigger a permanent dislike of something [like some people get the reaction to say tequila after a bad night with it, or a friend can’t eat potato salad because she got sick after eating it once]

That being said, I would rather have nausea without the vomiting to living with a seriously plugged up set of sinuses - I cant sleep when I am plugged up solid like that, I toss and turn all night trying to breathe =( but I can deal with nausea [yay pregnancy induced nausea, and chemo induced nausea. i can deal with it - way too much experience function while ready to hurl my guts out]

Exactly. When you’re nauseous during pregnancy, that’s mother nature telling you not to get pregnant again. It’s what you get.

I thought it was Mother Nature telling you (i.e. the pregnant woman) not to eat anything potentially toxic to the developing nervous system of her fetus.

The evidence for (and against) this is discussed here: