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Nausea after eating is a disorder experienced by many patients worldwide. To define in simple terms, nausea is a medical condition of stomach uneasiness experienced just before vomiting. This condition can cause much discomfort for the patients and can even affect a person’s quality of life. Not only does it affects the quantity of food intake but also affects a person’s well being. Often, nausea after eating is connected with food poisoning. However, this is not always correct. There are many causes and reasons associated with this particular condition. Nausea can be easily associated with hormonal issues, neurological conditions, gall bladder diseases, or may be a direct result of a person’s medication. Without proper medical knowledge, it may be harmful to either avoid or treat nausea.
Causes of Nausea After Eating
Mechanism of Nausea often varies on the real reason causing the condition. The list of causes behind the medical condition of nausea after eating is very long. However, here is a detailed list of common causes of Nausea after eating.
Well, this condition is applicable for only half of the world’s population. Feeling nauseated soon after eating is an early sign of pregnancy. Change in the hormone levels can result in pregnancy nausea. This is often accompanied with uneasiness and a queasy feeling. Though, this condition is medically termed as ‘morning sickness,’ but nausea after eating can strike at any time of the day. Sometimes, even the fragrance of any food can also trigger nausea after eating. However, the condition is temporary and cannot harm your body, you can use home remedies to treat the same.
2. Stomach Virus
Stomach virus which is also termed as ‘stomach flu’ can affect a person’s intestines and can result in gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and even nausea after eating. A person can catch stomach flu through contaminated food or water or by getting too close to an already infected person.
3. Food poisoning
Food that is not cooked with quality ingredients or not through a proper channel invites lots of virus, bacteria, and parasites. Consuming such food can lead to food poisoning which can further lead to nausea after eating, diarrhoea, and even cause nausea after eating.
4. Acid Reflux
A burning sensation behind the breastbone is known as heartburn which is often the main symptom of the gastroesophageal disease (GERD). This medical condition can also lead to nausea after eating. GERD is caused due to the malfunctioning of the muscular valve between the stomach and the oesophagus. This leads to leaking up of stomach acid into the oesophagus.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome can lead to diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and even constipation. Nausea after eating is also a common occurrence among people suffering from this irritable bowel syndrome.
6. Motion sickness
Many people are often sensitive to long hours of movement, especially after eating. People suffering from this condition may feel sick due to the vehicle moving. Moreover, eating just before the starting of the journey can make the situation worse.
7. Gallbladder disease
Gallbladder is an organ that is situated on the upper side of the abdomen and helps in digesting fats. However, gallbladder diseases can adversely affect a person’s ability to digest fats. This can consequently lead to nausea after you eat a rich diet.
8. Cancer treatment
Another major cause of nausea after eating is the chemotherapy session for a cancer patient. Nausea after eating is often considered as a side effect of chemotherapy.
9. Anxiety and Stress
Stress hurts both your emotional and well as physical well being. Feeling nauseated especially after eating is a major cause of high level of stress.
10. Food allergies
Some food items can trigger allergies in your immune system. Some people are allergic to food items such as nuts, fish, or eggs. Eating these food items can lead to triggering a series of events which consequently result in releasing of histamine and other chemicals in your body. These allergies often cause nausea after eating.
The causes of nausea differ from age to age, and the timing of nausea can help in indicating the real cause behind it.
Risk Factors Related To Nausea After Vomiting
Usually, nausea is considered to be harmless, but it can sometimes be a sign of more serious illness. Some examples of nausea being harmful are meningitis, appendicitis, brain tumors, and concussions.
When to call the doctor
Though it may not be necessary to call a doctor when you are facing this particular medical condition, in some conditions, it becomes imperative to seek medical attention.
- If the nausea is lasting for more than a few days and there is a possibility of being pregnant.
- If any home treatment is not working and the patient is feeling dehydrated as well.
- If nausea is often accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, and signs of dehydration.
- If a child over the age of 6 years complains of nausea after every meal.
- If an infant is vomiting after every meal.
- If you are witnessing blood in your stool;
- Fever of 101 degrees or more;
- Extreme thirst, weakness, dizziness, and less urine production.
Symptoms of Nausea After Eating
Some particular symptoms can assist you in pinpointing the real cause of nausea.
- Gallbladder disease: Vomiting, severe pain in the upper right part of the abdomen;
- Heartburn: A burning sensation in the chest accompanied with burping of a sour liquid, coughing;
- Motion sickness: Dizziness, cough, vomiting, constipation;
- Food allergy:stomach pain, dizziness, mouth swelling, wheezing, trouble in breathing;
- Food poisoning: watery diarrhoea, low fever, cramps, vomiting;
- Pregnancy: missed period, fatigue, tender and swollen breasts.
Diagnosis of Nausea
You will be asked to describe your symptoms by the doctor. This may include information about periods of feeling nauseated, the time gap after which a person feels nauseated, the period for which the person feels nauseated, and any special food triggering the feeling of nausea. Detailed information about these symptoms can assist the doctor in diagnosing the condition effectually.
After a thorough examination of your symptoms, the doctor may prescribe these following tests:
- A skin test to find out about any skin or food allergies;
- CT scan or X-ray or even ultrasound scans to find out about any major disease affecting the organs;
- Blood test or urine test;
- Upper endoscopy to find out about the swelling of the oesophagus. This test is done to find out about GERD;
- Colonoscopy, upper or lower GI series, or flexible sigmoidoscopy to seek any problem in your GI tract.
Treatment of Nausea
Treatment of nausea depends upon the cause behind the medical condition.
- Cancer treatment: Try to eat smaller meals, try to take in bland foods, such as oatmeal, chicken, etc., try acupuncture, ask your doctor to give you antinausea medicines;
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Try to avoid eating food items that can irritate your stomach;
- Stomach virus: try including bland food items in your diet, rest as much as you can until the infection getsover;
- Stress: Fix an appointment with your therapist to learn relaxation medicines such as yoga;
- Motion sickness: while travelling, try to sit in a comfortable position where you may feel the least movement, you can also wear a motion sickness patch or wristband;
- GERD: try to lose some weight, avoid spicy food items, take antacids for reducing excessive stomach acids;’
- Food allergies: Avoid food items that can trigger your symptoms;
- Pregnancy nausea: Try to eat bland food items, such as pasta, etc., try light exercises under the supervision of your doctor, go for walks.
Nausea after eating can be prevented by following certain tips, such as:
- Avoid high-fibre food items or milk;
- Eat smaller but frequent meals;
- Drink liquids on a regular basis but in smaller amounts till your nausea gets better;
- Try to include ginger in your diet. You can even try ginger tea or gingerdrinks;
- Try chewing gums or mints;
- Stick to easily digestible food items, such as crackers, dry toast, etc.;
- Limit your eating when feeling nauseated;
- Avoid spicy or fried food items;
- Suck on ice cubes;
- Relax while eating;
Nausea combined with fatigue can cause various diseases, leaving you exhausted and sleepy the entire day. Moreover, it can also hurt your appetite and physical growth. A nauseated feeling can take away the pleasure of having good food. Thus, it is advisable not to avoid the symptoms of nausea after eating and visit a doctor for the same. You can also try some home remedies for the same. However, try them only on the advice of an expert. Remember, prevention and treatment of nausea after eating solely depends upon the cause behind it. Once you address the source of your problem, it may lead to the permanent solution of the problem as well.