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Nausea is the feeling that you are soon going to throw up. Your salivary secretions increase, you feel heaviness in your chest and throat, and you feel like throwing up. We all feel uncomfortable when we are sick, but nausea can make us feel terrible. Not all types of nausea result in vomiting, but vomiting is often preceded by nausea. Recurring nausea is often a sign of a serious disease such as hepatitis, gastritis, ulcer, and stomach flu and may need a consultation by a doctor.
Here are a few things that can help relieve nausea fast:
- Ginger: Ginger is known to relieve nausea. Research has shown capsules of powdered ginger are effective in reducing nausea. You can also try a cup of ginger tea, a few gingersnap cookies, or a piece of ginger candy.
- Mint: Chew on fresh mint leaves or drink a cup of mint tea. The refreshing aroma can also make you feel better.
- Water: A sip of chilled water, or better a lime soda, can often make you feel better if you are feeling nauseated due to acid reflux.
- Lemon or peppermint: Sniff or suck on a lemon to stop the feeling of nausea. You can also try peppermint gum or tea.
- Aromatherapy: Inhalation of aromatherapy oils such as peppermint oil has been found to work in reducing the severity of nausea after surgeries. You can put a few drops of this oil in your hanky or a cotton cloth and try inhaling it when you feel nauseating.
- Over-the-counter medications:
- Fresh air: Breathe fresh air works for many people, but the reason remains unknown. You can open the window or sit in front of a fan to get rid of nausea.
- Deep breathing: Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques such as muscle relaxation techniques may also be helpful. This helps in moving your mind away from any worries that can aggravate nausea.
- Distractions: Distract yourself from nausea by calling up a friend, catching up on a movie, or performing any other light activity.
What pressure points get rid of nausea?
Acupressure, an ancient healing art in traditional Chinese medicine, is also effective in relieving nausea (especially during pregnancy and due to chemotherapy [cancer treatments]). It involves applying pressure on some points in the body. Here is how to use acupressure to get rid of nausea:
- Position your palm such that it faces toward the ceiling or the sky. Locate the two hard bands of tissue known as tendons that run just below your wrist in the line of your index finger. This is referred to as a P-6 pressure point.
- Press gently with the thumb of the opposite hand in a circling manner on the P-6 point for 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat the process on your other wrist.
In addition to acupressure, acupuncture can also help relieve nausea.
What settles nausea naturally?
You can naturally settle nausea by following these tips:
- Eat only light, bland foods, such as crackers or plain bread. These foods rich in starch help absorb gastric acid and settle a queasy stomach.
- Avoid foods that worsen your symptoms. These can be any fruit, vegetable, or food preparation that upsets your stomach.
- Avoid eating fried, too oily, or greasy foods, as this can exacerbate an upset stomach.
- Drink water, sports drinks, or chicken or vegetable soups. Avoid juices and soft drinks. Small sips of fluid throughout the day will hydrate you without making you feel worse.
- Limit the consumption of sweets.
- Eat small meals and eat them slowly.
- Do not lie down immediately after meals. You can rest a while with your head elevated. Avoid heavy activities after eating such as lifting weights, cycling, or jogging.
- If you suffer from motion sickness, avoid activities that require intense focus while traveling. This can include reading a book or any stuff on digital screens (such as smartphones).
- A drug known as promethazine if taken at least half an hour before the start of your journey can help prevent motion sickness-associated nausea. Because it is available only on a doctor’s prescription, ask your doctor if you can take it.
If your nausea persists and interferes with your personal, professional, and social life, talk to your medical provider.
What causes nausea for no reason?
Nausea is not a condition in itself but mainly a symptom of underlying medical conditions such as:
- Motion sickness
- Migraine headache
- Postural orthostatic hypotension (a decrease in blood pressure on standing up from a sitting or lying position)
- Autonomic dysfunction (problems with the part of the nervous system responsible for the control of body functions not consciously directed such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestion)
- Nonulcer dyspepsia (discomfort in the stomach unrelated to an ulcer)
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Bowel obstruction (a condition in which the nerves and brain signals prevent food from passing through the digestive tract even without a physical blockage)
- Gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying or digestion)
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Gallbladder disease
- Bulimia (eating disorder)
- Early stages of pregnancy (during the first trimester)
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome
- Anorexia nervosa (a psychological disorder in which an individual considers themselves as being overweight or controls the shape and size of a specific body part even when they are extremely thin)
- Brain tumor
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Meningitis (inflammation of the meninges covering the brain and spinal cord)
- Vestibular neuritis (inflammation of the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain)
Diseases in the following areas may cause you to feel queasy:
- Brain or spinal fluid
- Balance centers in the inner ear
- Abdominal or pelvic organs
Moreover, nausea can be associated with causes that aren’t due to underlying diseases, which include:
- Emotional stress (fear)
- An excessive amount of alcohol
- Pills are taken on an empty stomach
- Ingestion of toxins
- Intense pain
- Aversion to strong odors
- Drugs such as opioids, cannabis, aspirin, oral contraceptives, and antibiotics
Other causes may include:
- Food poisoning, gastritis, ulcer, or bulimia: Appears shortly after a meal
- Salmonella food poisoning: Takes longer to produce symptoms
- Food poisoning due to Clostridium perfringens: 8 hours after a meal
The causes of nausea and vomiting in children may vary from those in adults, and they include the following:
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Why do I feel nauseous in the morning (not pregnant)?
Common causes of waking up in the morning feeling nauseated include the following:
- Low blood sugar levels:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD):
- GERD or acid reflux is an extremely prevalent cause of nausea in the morning.
- Acid builds up in the stomach and flows to the upper region of the esophagus.
- Nausea due to GERD can present at any time; however, there is a high risk of nausea while waking up if one sleeps fully flat. This makes it easier for stomach acid to flow up the esophagus.
- Making lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding acidic meals, not eating for at least two hours before night, and sleeping with your head end elevated can help.
- Migraine headache is often associated with nausea and vomiting or just nausea.
- Because of changes in the central nervous system and the slowing of digestion, a migraine can often occur in the morning.
- Having breakfast, drinking fluids as soon as possible in the morning, and taking over-the-counter migraine medicines can help.
- If over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs don't work or if the nausea is severe and there's vomiting involved, prescription drugs for migraines and nausea are available.
- Infection and other disorders of the ear:
- Disorders of the ear such as inner ear diseases can disrupt balance and stomach rhythm and lead to nausea when waking up.
- Ear pain and pressure, as well as abnormalities in hearing, nasal congestion, and fever, are symptoms of an ear infection.
- Nausea resolves once the ear problem is treated with prescription medication.
- Anxiety and stress:
- Consumption of low dietary fiber, irritable bowel syndrome, and a sedentary lifestyle are some factors that can affect digestion.
- The distention in the intestines from extra feces and gas activates stretch receptors in the lining of the digestive tract, which transmits signals to the brainstem and activates the sensation of nausea.
- Increasing fiber content in the diet, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly can help.
- Laxatives and other treatments may be taken after consulting a doctor.
- Eating certain foods before bedtime:
- The foods you eat before bed can have a huge effect on how your body feels the next morning.
- Eating a substantial meal late at night might create intestinal distress, resulting in nausea in the morning. This is especially true in the case of dietary allergies or sensitivities.
- It is recommended to eat the final meal about three hours before sleeping, as well as avoid eating any difficult-to-digest foods in the evening, fried/fatty foods, dairy products, and spicy foods.
- Not eating enough before going to bed:
- Hunger can be a cause of morning nausea.
- When the body goes long periods without eating, blood sugar level lowers, which can result in morning nausea.
- To increase satiety (remaining full), aim for a decent balance of macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) and eat enough veggies.
- Veggies are high in fiber which aids in blood sugar regulation.
- Reproductive health problems:
- If you have recently started a new birth control method, it could be the source of your morning nausea.
- Nausea and vomiting might be an indication of morning sickness, a symptom of early pregnancy. Morning sickness is frequently precipitated by specific scents or spicy foods, but it can occur without a trigger.
- Excess alcohol consumption on the previous night may result in nausea and vomiting in the morning.
What symptoms may accompany nausea?
Nausea may occur alone or may be accompanied by certain symptoms, in which case it may indicate an underlying medical condition:
- Abdominal pain: Indicates diseases that involve structural alterations (e.g. cholelithiasis).
- Abdominal tenderness: Suggests bowel obstruction.
- Vomiting of blood-like material: May indicate upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Heartburn: Signals gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Early morning onset: Typical of the early stages of pregnancy.
- Headache: Indicates migraine.
- Vomitus with sediments: Indicates an intestinal blockage.
- Rapid involuntary eye movements: Signals vestibular neuritis.
- Tooth enamel erosion, fine hair, and hardening of the skin in the upper portion of palms: Signals bulimia.
When to call a doctor for nausea
Call the physician immediately if you observe these symptoms:
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Understanding Nausea and Vomiting – Treatment. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-nausea-vomiting-treatment
Belluomini J, et al. Acupressure for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, blinded study. Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Aug;84(2):245-8.
Lua PL, Zakaria NS. A brief review of current scientific evidence involving aromatherapy use for nausea and vomiting. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2012 Jun 1;18(6):534-40.
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