Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort in the digestive system that is usually accompanied with vomiting wherein the contents of the stomach are emptied out through the mouth.
However, a person can also feel nauseous without vomiting. Nausea in itself is not a sickness but a symptom for other illnesses. It is a non-specific symptom which means that there is more than one cause for it to happen.
The feeling of nausea is also one of the most common side effects of medication and the medication used to treat nausea is called antiemetic or anti-nausea drug.
There is no specific demographic regarding nausea. It is commonly experienced and there are no distinctive patterns of age, gender and race.
There are a wide variety of symptoms for nausea which include dizziness, a strong vomiting feeling, stomach pain / cramps, weakness, discomfort of a great intensity and sometimes dry heaves.
The duration of nausea depends on the cause and how often it occurs. If the cause is motion sickness or viral infections or food related, the nausea is short-lived and nothing to be concerned about.
Usually, the feeling of nausea lasts for a few hours and goes away on its own in a day.
- Motion sickness as well as seasickness are known to be the major causes for nausea apart from gastrointestinal problems.
Emotional stress or fear is also capable of making one feel nauseous.
- It can be caused due to food poisoning
- Nausea can also occur due to overeating
- When toxins are injected or excessive amounts of alcohol also leads to nausea.
- 50%-90% pregnant women feel nausea or morning sickness in early stages of pregnancy.
- A person suffering from migraines also suffers from nausea.
- Gall bladder distress also causes nausea.
- A person who has suffered a heart attack or heart failure will have more chances of suffering from nausea.
- Medical treatments like radiation or chemotherapy can also cause nausea.
- There are psychological disorders like depression, anxiety and eating disorders that can also cause nausea.
- Food allergies can also result in a person feeling nauseous.
- Common problems like diabetes, vertigo and ulcers also cause nausea.
- Severe increase or decrease in blood sugar levels in the body (hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia) can cause nausea.
How to get rid of nausea – Best Home Remedies:
- Consume ginger tea twice a day. To make this, cut a piece of ginger root and place it in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the ginger and drink the water. Otherwise, there are many ginger tea products in the stores to buy which have the same effect.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is said to be very helpful when a person is nauseous. Add a bit to 8 ounces of water and drink it. This is known to be one of the oldest ways to treat nausea.
- Having a bowl of raspberries every morning helps reduce nausea in a natural way. It is even beneficial for pregnant women as raspberries possess vitamin C.
- Squeeze a lemon and add salt into a glass of water. This drink should be consumed as soon as one feels nauseous. The salt helps boost the drained electrolytes.
- Another way to treat nausea with lemon is by simply smelling a wedge of lemon or sucking onto it. This is known to result in instant relief.
- Mix one and a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink to relieve oneself from nausea. It may have a distinctly odd taste but it provides relief instantly.
- Stir a quarter of a teaspoon of aniseed in half a cup of water. Strain it and drink it.. Aniseed helps to cool down the stomach, thus relieving one from nausea.
- Rice water is also helpful in cases of nausea. Keep some rice in a bowl of water and boil the water for 10-15 mins. Drain out the rice and drink the water.
- 2 tablespoons of peppermint leaves should be placed a pot of boiling water. After this, keep it covered and allow it to stand for 15-20 mins. Add some honey to the drink after straining it and drink it.
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon is to be added to a cup of boiling water and it should be allowed to steep for some time. Strain and drink when feeling nauseous.
- Tart beverages like cranberry juice are known to be a well-known reliever of nausea. When this juice is diluted in water, it results in faster relief.
- Slowly chewing one teaspoon of fennel seed also helps to relieve nausea.
- Another way to use fennel seed for nausea is by putting one teaspoon of the seed into a cup of hot water and leaving it for 10 mins. Add a teaspoon of honey and fresh lemon juice. Strain and drink this tea slowly to get maximum results.
- 1 teaspoon of cloves can be added to a cup of boiling water and allowed to steep for 5 mins. Strain and drink the liquid. If the taste is unbearable, a teaspoon of honey can also be added.
- Eating a banana is helpful in treating nausea. It helps to form a block between the stomach and acidic gastric substances which actually cause the nauseous feeling.
- Taking a long walk outdoors also helps a person suffering from nausea. Staying inside closed rooms may make some people feel sick and thus being outdoors helps, during such times.
- Chamomile tea is also known to be effective in treating a person from nausea. Put some chamomile leaves in a glass of hot water, steep for 5-6 mins and drink the tea. This is a very common method to treat nausea.
- Mix equal parts of the leaves of the tulsi plant (holy basil) and honey and a small piece of ginger. A paste will be formed and whenever a person feels nauseous, they must consume 1-2 morsels of this paste.
- Crush some cumin seeds and consume when feeling nauseous. It is known to subside the feeling of nausea and vomiting instantly. Even the essential oils of cumin helps cure nausea caused by gastrointestinal problems.
- Mixing sugar in water along with a pinch of salt helps to reduce nausea. Consuming this drink every half an hour helps eradicate the feeling of nausea completely. Even other such non-carbonated drinks help to subside nausea.
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat food slowly by chewing well and in small portions.
- Refrain from consuming greasy, fatty or spicy food along with dairy products
- Do not consume alcohol when there is a tendency to feel nauseous
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Drink beverages that calm the stomach
- Exercise regularly and take adequate rest
- Avoid any kind of rigorous physical activity immediately after eating.
- Eat food that gets digested fast.
- Avoid strong odours like perfume, smoke or distinct cooking smell.
- Follow the BRAT diet, that is, bananas, rice, apples or applesauce and toast.
- Stepping outdoors helps relieve a person from feeling suffocation and thus prevents one from feeling nauseous. It is advised to go outdoors daily (at least for a while)
- Massage, meditation or yoga can help relax the individual, thus prevent them from getting stress-induced nausea.
When to consult a doctor?
The cause for nausea can be indicated by its timing. Immediately after a meal, if one feels nauseous, it may be due to peptic ulcers, if after 7-8 hours after a meal, it may be due to food poisoning.
If a person feels nauseous for more than a week, he/she must consult a doctor as soon as possible.More so, if home treatment for nausea does not work and the patient seems to be dehydrated.
For children (from infants to teenagers), if there is vomiting for more than a few hours along with diarrhoea, high fever and signs of dehydration, the child should be taken to a doctor.
For adults, if there is vomiting for more than a day combined with diarrhoea and severe headache or stiff neck The person needs to be attended to even when they are sweating profusely, have chest pain and have trouble breathing.
If a person feels lethargic, has high body temperature, severe abdominal pain, lowered concentration and a racing pulse, these are the indicators to know that a person who is feeling nauseous, needs medical assistance.
Myths & Facts:
The following are some myths that have been busted with facts.
|It only occurs in the morning||Many confuse nausea with morning sickness. They are 2 separate things where nausea is a part of morning sickness but nausea is not morning sickness. It can occur at any time of the day and without a warning.|
|Feeling nausea means that there is, definitely, something wrong with the body.||This is not true as sometimes feeling a certain emotion, anxiety, insecurity, fear or sorrow can make someone feel queasy and sick from the inside. Nausea can also be due to a psychological issue and the person’s body, physically has no problem. If a person overcomes such an emotion, that nauseous sensation also disappears|
|Morning sickness only happens to women who are pregnant||Morning sickness does not necessarily mean that a woman is pregnant. Morning sickness can also happen to men as this nauseating feeling occurs due to indigestion wherein the mechanism of the stomach and oesophagus is not working efficiently which forces the acid to regurgitate up. This can be avoided by having the big meal of the day as lunch and not dinner so that there is adequate time to digest it.|
|One cannot consume anything, including water, when they are nauseous.||This is not true. One needs to consume an adequate amount of water when they feel even a hint of nausea. Dehydration being one of the causes needs to be tackled as soon as possible. There are also a variety of natural items that can be consumed to reduce the nauseous sensation.|
- When a person feels nauseous, is vomiting inevitable?
- Nausea does not always result in vomiting. That happens in some cases.
- Are there any homeopathic means to treat nausea?
- Apart from home remedies, there are some homeopathic treatments for nausea but these treatments vary depending on what is the cause or effect of nausea.
- Does nausea happen to a pregnant woman only due to medication or other external factors?
- No, nausea happens to be the side effects for a lot of medications but medication is not the sole cause. There are internal factors as well that cause nausea like hormonal changes, especially reproductive hormone changes in a woman’s body. These changes fluctuate drastically during pregnancy especially which is what makes most women feel uneasy during this period.
- Which is the most effective antiemetic?
- Pepto-Bismol, Dramamine, Zofran and Benadryl are known to be some of the most effective antiemetics. However, these need to be consumed with precaution after consulting with a doctor.
- Are there any side effects for antiemetics?
- On an average, adults do not experience side effects from antiemetics unless the person is elderly or has a medical condition. The most common side effect is darkened tongue or darkened stool but these are only short term side effects.