If you’ve been feeling nauseous after every meal you eat, it’ll make total sense if you hate dinner time. Asides the abdominal pain, constant release of gases, uneasy stomach, and lightheadedness, you just feel unpleasant and want to vomit.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t always have to do with the food you ate. In fact, it’s possible to feel nauseous at any time during the day.
Luckily, nausea is not a disease. Instead, nausea is a symptom of many diseases – It’s your body’s way of trying to tell you something is wrong. Contrary to popular belief, nausea is a protective function of your immune system – Only if you didn’t have to feel green and sick in your stomach afterward.
Naturally, once you can find out the cause of your nausea and treat it, your nausea will disappear with it, and you’ll be able to enjoy your meals without worrying about throwing up or feeling sick.
There are many factors that could trigger your nausea. It could be your medications, pregnancy, diabetes, drinking too much alcohol, food poisoning, overeating, or even stress.
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, it’s crucial you 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!
Common Causes of Nausea After Eating
|food allergy||hives, itching, swelling of the mouth or throat, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing, wheezing|
|food poisoning or stomach virus||vomiting, cramps, low fever, watery diarrhea,|
|gallbladder disease||vomiting, pain in the upper right abdomen|
|Heartburn||coughing, 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 sickness||dizziness, cold sweat, uneasy feeling, vomiting|
|Pregnancy||fatigue, tender, and swollen breasts missed period|
|stress or anxiety||muscle aches, sleep problems, sadness, irritability, fatigue, loss of sex drive|
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 from time to time, 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 you’re always feeling nauseous after you eat. Take a pregnancy test.
Luckily, nausea doesn’t affect the baby, mother, or child’s birth. If you’re pregnant, the feeling of nausea will reduce during the 4th month of your pregnancy.
2. Food allergies
If you’re allergic to a particular type of food, when you eat it, your body will misinterpret the meal as a foreign invasion.
In order 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
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 you lie down immediately after you eat, your stomach acid can run back up 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 get the oxygen it needs. The clot will damage or destroy part of the heart muscle.
Common heart attack symptoms include pain, 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 a cardiac arrest or a heart problem.
You should pay attention to your heart attack as this disease can be fatal.
Some certain medications can trigger nausea. For example, chemotherapeutic drugs, antibiotics, and pain reliefs can make you feel 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
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, 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.
Although gastroenteritis has similar symptoms with 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.
Ulcers are painful bruises or sores on the lining of the stomach.
Helicobacter pylori is the bacteria responsible for causing ulcers. Once H.pylori invades your stomach, and the bacteria eats away at your stomach lining, leaving a painful sore.
Due to the stomach discomfort that comes with ulcers, After eating meals, especially spicy foods, you may experience nausea.
Top tip: Ulcer worsens with time. However, once you treat 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 disease such as Gallstones may affect your ability to digest fats. This will make you feel nausea especially after you eat a rich, fatty meal.
10. Dyspepsia/ Indigestion
When a part of your digestive system isn’t working properly, you may suffer from indigestion.
Indigestion is caused by eating too fast, overeating, or drinking too much alcohol. When your body doesn’t digest it’s food properly, you may feel discomfort, heartburns, and nausea.
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 you’re being chased by a lion. 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 is sending mixed signals to your brain, and you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseous. Eating immediately after your trip can worsen your nausea.
How to Treat Nausea After Eating
Treating nausea can be challenging, especially since a lot of diseases can induce nausea. Before you treat your nausea, it’s essential you find out what’s causing it.
Luckily, nausea isn’t always serious. Once you know what’s responsible for making feel woozy, it’s very easy to treat it.
However, if you’re experiencing nausea and after several days, your nausea still isn’t showing any signs of leaving, you should call your doctor. It may signal something serious.
In severe cases, your nausea may come with other symptoms like:
- rapid heartbeat
- chest pain
- Blood in your stool
- High Fever
- Severe bleeding
- Loss of vision
- Difficulty breathing
In most cases, feeling nausea after eating isn’t usually serious. Your nausea will fade away when you treat the source of nausea.
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 the nauseous feeling in pregnant women, and patients undergoing chemotherapy medications.
Drinking ginger water after eating can also help to reduce nausea.
Top tip: Some researchers believe ginger function similar to anti-nausea drugs.
2. Slice Lemon or Almond
Lemon, 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 a research on nausea, 100 pregnant women were given lemons to peel immediately 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 and scratch the back of lemon, or alternatively, you can slice a lemon when you feel nauseous.
If you can’t get access to 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, then taking vitamin B6 supplement is an excellent alternative.
Vitamin B6 contains pyridoxine, a chemical that’s effective in reducing mild nausea in pregnant women.
Top tip: For pregnant women, taking Vitamin B6 doses up to 200 mg per day 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 start feeling nauseous.
5.Brush your teeth immediately after you eat
Brushing your teeth after eating will remove the scent of food, and may reduce chances of nausea, and throwing up.
Preventing 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 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