How to Get Rid of Nausea? (Solution)
Nausea is one of the worst feelings. It is also one of the most universally well known feelings. If you see one of your friends and you mention feeling nauseated, you won't have to explain any further because your friend will already be nodding with a pained look on her face as she empathizes with your suffering.
Nausea itself is a type of stomach "uneasiness" that is characterized by a feeling of impending vomiting (whether or not vomiting actually does occur).
But as common as nausea is in most of our lives, there is still so much confusion about what causes nausea and how to treat it and prevent it! In this article, we present a comprehensive overview of nausea so you can find faster relief and learn the most effective prevention methods.
Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention of Nausea
There are some known situations, such as morning sickness during pregnancy, when nausea is much more likely to occur. In these cases, your doctor might even warn you about the possibility of nausea and prescribe medications to prevent nausea or at least ease the discomfort.
But in many cases, nausea arises at the most unexpected and often inopportune moments. You may have no idea why you are suddenly feeling nauseas or what to do about it. In this section, we offer an overview of the most common causes for nausea, major symptoms to watch for, how nausea is diagnosed and what you can do to prevent nausea from occurring.
Nausea can arise for a surprising variety of reasons. In addition to pregnancy as mentioned here, nausea is often associated with vertigo or motion sickness, which is actually thought to be related to an inner ear imbalance.
Here are some of the most common known causes for nausea:
- Food poisoning.
- Medication side effects.
- Cancer and cancer treatments (especially chemotherapy drugs).
- Alcohol poisoning.
- Gastroparesis (a type of stomach condition where the stomach is slow to empty its contents).
- Stomach flu.
- Fearfulness or anxiety.
- Major depression.
- Overeating or binge-eating.
- Severe physical or emotional pain.
- Gallstones (hard material that forms in the gallbladder and often needs to be surgically removed).
- Some odors.
- Brain injury or tumor.
- Onset of heart attack.
- Food allergies.
- Gastritis (when the stomach lining becomes inflamed).
- High fever.
- Presence of bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites.
- Severe allergies.
- Blockage in the intestine.
- Migraine headache.
- GERD (acid reflux).
The symptoms of nausea revolve around a feeling of uneasiness or unwellness that can be hard to define. Because of the great variety of reasons why nausea can occur, some symptoms may be physical in nature while others may be purely emotional.
Here is a list of some of the most commonly reported symptoms of nausea:
- Muscle contractions or spasms in the stomach.
- Reflexive swallowing.
- Strange or sour taste in the mouth.
- Rhythmic, reflexive contactions in the respiratory or digestive system or both.
- Feeling of the desire to or need to vomit (whether vomiting occurs or not).
- Revulsion at the sight or even thought of food.
- Profuse sweating.
- Dizziness, weakness or faintness (often prompting an urgent need to sit or lay down).
- Intense anxiety or fear.
A note about the last symptom listed here: nausea can both arise out of anxiety (such as before giving a presentation in front of your boss) and it can cause anxiety (such as when you eat too much and then begin to feel very anxious about causing your own discomfort).
To further complicate matters, nausea can also be accompanied by additional sets of symptoms that may be pointing to an underlying medical condition that is the cause of the nausea.
Examples of these types of symptoms are as follows:
- Gas, swelling or bloating in the stomach region.
- Black or bloody stools.
- Bloody or dark urine, odorous urine and changes in frequency of urine.
- Chest pain or tightness in the chest.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Edema (swelling of extremities).
- Shortness of breath.
- Passing gas.
- Loss of appetite and feelings of fullness after eating just a few bites.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Itching or irritated skin.
Diagnosing nausea can be challenging, since the nausea is typically present as a symptom of an underlying issue or health condition but can also arise on its own. For this reason, one way to use nausea to obtain a diagnosis is to think of it as a signal. In other words, when you feel nausea, stop and take a look back at what happened in the moments or days leading up to your nauseas feeling to figure out what may be causing it.
In fact, often when a doctor takes down your medical history, what they are really doing is trying to piece together the events that occurred in the days and hours before you walked into the exam room!
You can do this on your own as well by keeping a log of your nausea attacks and writing down what occurred right before you began to feel nauseas. This way, you will be better able to spot any patterns or trends, such as certain foods, situations or even people that may be triggering your nausea.
There are three main types of nausea: sudden, intermittent and continual. Sudden nausea is often an isolated event related to a passing illness or situation. But intermittent and continual nausea may point to a more serious underlying medical condition that has yet to be identified and diagnosed.
Preventing nausea hinges on understanding what triggers episodes of nauseas feelings and/or vomiting. Unfortunately, nausea isn't always easy to prevent, especially if it is linked to a more serious health issue or a necessary medication you are taking.
If your nausea is unrelated to pregnancy or another known health condition, these tips can help reduce or prevent attacks of nausea:
Eat smaller portions
This will help you avoid overeating, which is a common trigger for nausea and vomiting.
Practice deep breathing
If you find your nausea occurs when you feel stressed, anxious or depressed, deep breathing can help you calm down in stomach and in mind.
Sit in the front seat of a car or bus
If you have to travel, always be sure you have a clear view out the front window. This will help you maintain your equilibrium while you are moving (it works well for ships and airplanes too).
Be very careful about what and where you eat/drink
Nausea is a common side effect of food poisoning, which is caused by lack of good food hygiene. So just be careful what you eat and where you eat/drink, especially while traveling.
Steer clear of alcohol and excessive caffeine
Both can cause dehydration as well as anxiety, stomach upset and a hangover effect, which can trigger nausea.
Drink plenty of pure water
Water flushes your system and also helps with the tendency to overeat.
Effectively Treating Nausea
If you are like most, the moment you start to feel that awful "upchuck" reflex of nausea, the only thing on your mind is getting it to stop. But the experience of feeling nauseas can also cause mental confusion and anxiety, which makes it very hard to decide what to do.
The next time this happens to you, you can turn to this list of expert-recommended nausea treatments to find fast relief:
Whether in soda, tea, capsule or chew form, ginger contains two ingredients, shoals and gingerols, that are safe to use for easing nausea in any person over age 3.
Chamomile is another natural stomach settler. It naturally eases inflammation, promotes calm and fights bacteria.
You can purchase rice water commercially (try the international foods aisle) or brew it yourself by boiling rice and collecting the water. Its hydrating properties are particularly useful if your nausea is caused by food poisoning.
Acupressure is a sister to acupuncture that you can do on your own. No needles are involved. Rather, you use your fingers to apply light pressure to the wrist (what is called the P-6 point). You can also purchase "nausea bands" that do this for you.
By placing a cold pack behind your neck, on your forehead or at your wrists, you can alleviate the sweating associated with some nausea attacks and calm your nervous system.
The use of essential oils such as chamomile, peppermint, fennel, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, spearmint or dandelion, can calm nausea when inhaled or dabbed on the wrist.
Follow the BRAT diet
If you are experiencing nausea along with vomiting, diarrhea, food poisoning or stomach flu, the BRAT diet can help you start to eat again and keep it down. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Apple and Toast.
There are some over-the-counter medications that can help ease nausea symptoms. However, it is always best to talk with your doctor before taking medicine to reduce nausea, especially if you are pregnant. Some of the most popular OTC medications include Pepto-Bismal and Emetrol, which coat the lining of the stomach to reduce damage from acid. If your nausea is related to motion or vertigo, Dramamine can be helpful.
Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, greasy foods, alcohol and tobacco
These items can make nausea worse instead of better.
You may not enjoy it, but sometimes the body's purge reflex arises because there is something toxic inside that needs to come out. Once it is out, you may feel better right away.
Do some stretches
Tight, bunched, tense muscles, especially in the head, neck and shoulders region, can trigger bouts of nausea. The same holds true for back pain, which is one of the most common chronic pains most people struggle with. By taking time to do some simple stretches, you may be able to ease nausea on the spot.
Put your head between your knees
This is a common relief position taught to emergency first aid workers. It can help increase circulation and at the same time promote better balance and body stability, easing nausea in the process.
Lay down in a cool, quiet, dark room
This is an especially helpful remedy if your nausea is coming from migraine headaches or anxiety. Not only will this even out your body's circulation, but it will give your entire body some much-needed stabilization.
If you have had food poisoning or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, you may be dehydrated, which can trigger nausea. In this case, water can help, but it might take more than just water to adequately rehydrate your body. Try sports drinks or electrolyte powders to make sure your body is able to use the re-hydrating properties of drinking water effectively.
Nausea is the common symptom that no one ever wants to experience. Whether it comes by itself or in the company of a more serious medical condition, nausea is guaranteed to get your attention, at least until it passes.
So the key is to make sure you pay close attention to your nausea symptoms and treat them like the messengers they are to help you achieve and maintain better health and well being. Whether nausea is telling you that you are pregnant or that you shouldn't read in the backseat of a car, it has valuable information to share once you learn to listen.