Nausea after Eating: 12 Common Causes with Treatment

Nausea after eating can be a distressing and uncomfortable experience, leaving you feeling queasy and weak. It can come on suddenly or last for hours after eating a meal. It can be caused by various conditions, ranging from food poisoning to chronic illness.

Regardless of the source of your nausea, most of the time, nausea after meals is pretty harmless. However, in some cases, experiencing nausea can signal something serious, like a heart attack or cancer.

Due to the many factors that could trigger nausea, you must know what is causing you to feel nauseous after eating. In this article, we’ll take you through all the possible causes of your nausea and how to deal with it. Let’s dig in!

Causes of Nausea after Eating
Causes of Nausea After Eating

Common Causes of Nausea After Eating

Many factors could trigger your nausea. It could be your medications, pregnancy, diabetes, drinking too much alcohol, food poisoning, overeating, or even stress.

Possible causeSymptoms
food allergyhives, itching, swelling of the mouth or throat, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing, wheezing
food poisoning or stomach virusvomiting, cramps, low fever, watery diarrhea,
gallbladder diseasevomiting, pain in the upper right abdomen
Heartburncoughing, a burning feeling in your chest,  the feeling that something is in your chest, burping up a sour liquid
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)diarrhea, constipation, pain in the abdomen
motion sicknessdizziness, cold sweat, uneasy feeling, vomiting
Pregnancyfatigue, tender and swollen breasts, missed period
stress or anxietymuscle aches, sleep problems, sadness, irritability, fatigue, loss of sex drive


1. Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a period when your body experiences the most hormonal changes. Due to the release of different hormones, a pregnant woman will feel nauseous occasionally, especially early in the morning.

It’s a major symptom during the second month of pregnancy. While some pregnant women feel nauseated immediately after they have eaten, some feel it before they eat.

In extreme cases, some pregnant women may feel nauseous throughout the day. If you’re sexually active and always feel nauseous after you eat. Take a pregnancy test.

Luckily, nausea doesn’t affect the baby, mother, or child’s birth. If you’re pregnant, nausea will reduce during the 4th month of your pregnancy.

2. Food allergies

If you’re allergic to a particular type of food, your body will misinterpret the meal as a foreign invasion when you eat it.

To react to this invasion, your body releases histamines to deal with this threat. Releasing histamines and other chemicals could lead to skin inflammation and nausea.

It can happen immediately after you eat or hours after your meal. Foods that can often cause nausea include eggs, peanuts, beans, foods that contain lactose, and shellfish.

3. Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux
Acid Reflux

As you eat, your food goes straight to your stomach. Once it enters your stomach, a special muscle (lower esophageal sphincter closes it in) immediately your food passes through it.

However, if you overeat or lie down immediately after eating, stomach acid can run back into your mouth. This acid reflux happens when the muscle between the esophagus and stomach opens back after you’ve eaten.

Once it happens, the sour-tasting stomach acid rises to your throat and mouth. The sour taste can make you nauseous, and in some cases, it can lead to vomiting.

4. Heart attack

A heart attack occurs when a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances blocks the blood flow to your heart. This will block your heart from getting the oxygen it needs. The clot will damage or destroy part of the heart muscle.

Common heart attack symptoms include pain and tightness in your chest that can spread to your jaw or back. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, heartburn, abdominal pain, dizziness, indigestion, and cold sweat. Sometimes, experiencing nausea after eating may be a symptom of cardiac arrest or a heart problem.

You should pay attention to your heart attack as this disease can be fatal.

5. Medications

Some certain medications can trigger nausea. For example, chemotherapeutic drugs, antibiotics, and pain reliefs can make you nauseous, especially after eating.

Top tip: you can speak to your doctor about your nausea. If there’s no alternative to your medication, your nausea will stop once you’re done with your drugs.

6. Food poisoning

food poisoning treatment
Food poisoning

When you don’t cook food properly, or it’s way past its expiry date, Chances are the food is contaminated.

Usually, food can be contaminated by viruses and foodborne bacteria. Although the effect of these food contaminants may not be visible, you may experience food poisoning when you eat contaminated food.

Food poisoning is often accompanied by nausea a few hours after you eat the contaminated food. In some cases, food poisoning can also cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. These unpleasant symptoms can appear within a few hours after eating contaminated food.

7. Gastroenteritis

Although gastroenteritis has similar symptoms to food poisoning, they’re quite different.

Food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated food, while a virus infection causes gastroenteritis in the gut. Gastroenteritis leads to inflammation of the gut cells and can result in nausea, vomiting, and stooling.

8. Ulcer

Ulcers are painful bruises or sores on the lining of the stomach.

Helicobacter pylori are the bacteria responsible for causing ulcers. Once H.pylori invades your stomach, the bacteria eat away at your stomach lining, leaving a painful sore.

Due to the stomach discomfort that comes with ulcers, you may experience nausea after eating meals, especially spicy foods.

Top tip: Ulcer worsens with time. However, once you treat the ulcer, your nausea will fade away.

9. Gallbladder Disease

Your gallbladder is an organ that sits under your liver in the upper-right of your abdomen. This is a four-inch, pear-shaped organ that stores bile. Bile can help your body break down fat from food. This helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients easily.

Some Gallbladder diseases, such as Gallstones, may affect your ability to digest fats. This will make you nauseous, especially after eating a rich, fatty meal.

10. Dyspepsia/ Indigestion

You may suffer from indigestion when part of your digestive system isn’t working correctly.

Indigestion is caused by eating too fast, overeating, or drinking too much alcohol. When your body doesn’t digest its food properly, you may feel discomfort, heartburn, and nausea.

11. Anxiety


Our brain directs almost everything we do and plays a significant role in the digestive system.

When you’re suffering from anxiety, stress, or any psychiatric disorder, your body sends signals to the brain to indicate something is wrong.

Since your body can’t correctly diagnose emotional stress or trauma, your brain assumes a lion is chasing you. As a result, the brain releases hormones that could cause indigestion.

12. Motion Sickness

If you feel woozy after being in a car, airplane, or boat for too long, you may have motion sickness. The reason is that your body sends mixed signals to your brain, making you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseous. Eating immediately after your trip can worsen your nausea.

How to Treat Nausea After Eating?

How to Treat Nausea after Eating


Treating nausea can be challenging, especially since many diseases can induce nausea. Before you treat your sickness, you must find out what’s causing it.

Luckily, nausea isn’t always severe. Once you know what’s responsible for making you feel woozy, it’s very easy to treat it.

However, if you’re experiencing nausea after several days, and your sickness still shows no signs of leaving, you should call your doctor. It may signal something serious.

In severe cases, your nausea may come with other symptoms like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • rapid heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Blood in your stool
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • High Fever
  • Severe bleeding
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty breathing

In most cases, feeling nausea after eating isn’t usually serious. Your sickness will fade away when you treat the source of nausea.

Anti-nausea Medications:

There are plenty of anti-nausea medications available over-the-counter that prevent and treat nausea. They include:

  • granisetron (Kytril)
  • ondansetron (Zofran)
  • dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexasone)
  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • dolasetron (Anzemet)
  • dimenhydrinate (Gravol)

Top tip: Anti-nausea drugs are more effective when you take them before you eat.

Alternatively, there are some home remedies that you can use to reduce and prevent nausea after you eat.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Nausea After Eating

1. Eat ginger after meals

Ginger has a lot of tremendous health benefits. It’s also effective in treating nausea. Although there’s no scientific evidence to back up the specific way ginger works, it reduces nausea in pregnant women and patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Drinking ginger water after eating can also help to reduce nausea.

Top tip: Some researchers believe ginger functions similarly to anti-nausea drugs.

2. Slice Lemon or Almond

Lemons and oranges aren’t only delicious; their smell can help quell nausea. For example, the scent of a freshly cut lemon can reduce nausea after meals, especially in pregnant women.

For example, in research on nausea, 100 pregnant women were given lemons to peel immediately after they felt nauseated. About 9% of the pregnant women felt relieved immediately after inhaling the citrus smell of lemon.

Top tip: You can also try to scratch the back of the lemon or slice a lemon when you feel nauseous. If you can’t access a lemon, I recommend you carry around a small bottle of lemon essential oil.

3. Take a Vitamin B6 Supplement

If you’re allergic to anti-nausea drugs, taking a vitamin B6 supplement is an excellent alternative. Vitamin B6 contains pyridoxine, a chemical effective in reducing mild nausea in pregnant women.

Top tip: For pregnant women, taking Vitamin B6 doses up to 200 mg daily is safe. There are usually no side effects on the baby or the mother.

4. Take slow concentrated breaths

Meditating can help reduce nausea. You can do this by taking slow, deep breaths consecutively for a few minutes when you feel nauseous.

5. Brush your teeth immediately after you eat

Brushing your teeth after eating will remove the scent of food and reduce the chances of nausea and throwing up.

How to Prevent nausea after eating

  • Before you eat, trying out these few tips will prevent you from feeling sick in your stomach.
  • Licking crushed ice or sucking on ice cubes
  • Avoid overeating
  • Don’t rush your food
  • Instead of eating large meals, you can eat small meals consecutively
  • Avoid clothes that tighten your stomach
  • Avoid lying down or exercising immediately after you eat. Take some time to relax to allow your food to digest.
  • Ensure you keep away from extra spicy, fried, and oily meals
  • Avoid any strong smell that makes you feel nauseous
  • Stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest

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