What Causes Nausea After Eating and How to Treat It?

Nausea after eating

There are many reasons why you sometimes experience nausea after eating.

It may be due to eating too fast or your body not being able to process the food you eat.

The condition of feeling nauseous after eating can make you worried. However, you can avoid this feeling by taking some precautions. Let’s see why your stomach feels unwell after eating meals and how to prevent it.

What Causes Nausea after Eating?

Many things can make you feel sick after eating. Your stomach may not be adequately digesting the foods you ingest.

If you do feel nauseous after eating, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Nausea is an issue that affects many people on a daily basis.

Knowing the causes of nausea after eating will help you treat it better:

1. Food Intolerance or Allergies

Allergies are your body’s response to foreign antigens that are unable to be processed and end up being attacked.

Intolerance is a lack of enzymes in your digestive system that prevents you from digesting certain foods. If you eat things that your body cannot process, then you will feel sick after eating.

2. Stomach Virus

This is a relatively common diagnosis of nausea after eating. Bacterial or viral infections can make you feel sick before, during, and after meals.

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition caused by a variety of gastrointestinal issues. The primary symptom associated with it is bloating, gas, and nausea after meals.

In IBS your digestive system is just unable to process the food you eat and reacts unfavorably.

Related Reading: How to Get Rid of Trapped Gas?

4. Hormonal

The changing hormone levels during pregnancy will leave you feeling sick after eating. The drastic rise or fall in your hormone levels can cause nausea before or after eating.

This is not harmful to you or your baby, and unfortunately is just a natural part of pregnancy.

5. Infection

stomach infection nausea eatingRanging from food poisoning to stomach flu, the virus in the stomach will result in nausea and dizziness after eating.

If food is stored, prepared or cooked, improperly it runs the risk of contamination.

When ingested this impurity reacts with your digestive tract and cause diarrhea, nausea, fever, or abdominal cramps.

Usually, these symptoms last for 24 hours, but if they last longer, you need to see your doctor.

6. Psychiatric or Psychological

Food-related mental disorders are a cause of feeling sick after eating. Anorexia nausea is caused due to starvation or excess stomach acid.

Bulimia is someone who eats the food and then vomits it out. Depression, stress, or anxiety can also cause a sick feeling in the body after eating.

7. Medications

Prescription drugs such as antibiotics and painkillers have side effects associated with them. Some of these side effects can be nausea related, especially if combined with food.

Many medications need to be taken with meals to avoid nausea. There are some that react negatively to food and can cause stomach pain and nausea after eating.

8. Motion Sickness

Occasionally movements or motions can cause someone to feel nauseous. If you are afflicted with motion sickness then eating before or after experiencing motion can give you a nauseous sensation.

9. Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment has been associated with nausea and headaches after eating. This is due to the medicine that is used to fight the disease.

Chemotherapy drugs are very intense, and nausea is a side effect which should subside once you stop the medicines.

10. Acid Reflux

This is an abnormality that causes stomach acid to enter the lower esophagus and cause irritation.

Also known as heartburn, this condition will occasionally cause discomfort and make you avoid food. Nausea can also occur after eating due to the increased amount of stomach acid.

Related Reading: Throwing up bile? Understand the Common Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

Nausea after Eating: Associated Symptoms

Food intolerance or allergyHives, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, swelling of the mouth or throat
Stomach virusVomiting, watery diarrhea, cramps
Irritable bowel syndromeAbdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation
Hormonal ImbalancesTender breasts, missed period, fatigue
InfectionWatery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramps
Psychiatric or psychologicalFatigue, dramatic weight loss, vomiting, vitamin deficiency
MedicationsVomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation
Motion sicknessVomiting, cold sweat, uneasy feeling, dizziness
Cancer treatmentFatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
Acid refluxChest pain, vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort

Home Remedies for Nausea after Eating

nausea after eating treatmentFeeling nauseous after eating can ruin your day.

Whether you are at work or home, nausea is something that can offset your routine.

Luckily, there are several home remedies for this.

Mentioned below are a few remedies you can try to get rid of nausea after meals:

1. Avoidance

If you are aware of any food intolerances or allergies, it is better to avoid them. Seek help from a doctor to diagnose any allergies which you may have.

2. Ginger

Ginger can cure nausea after eating. It has been used medicinally over the last 2,000 years and has nausea reducing effects.

You can use ginger in form of ginger tea. Just cut a few thin slices and place them in a cup of hot water.

Let it steep for few minutes. You can also use ginger essential oil.

3. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint has a soothing effect on the stomach lining; this can help reduce nausea. It has been found to reduce muscular contractions in the stomach and inhibits the sensation of nausea.

4. Lemon

Cutting a fresh lemon and inhaling the scent will decrease the sensation of nausea after eating.

Whenever you feel nauseous, cut a piece of lemon and inhale. You can also bite into a slice or drink lemon juice if inhaling does not work.

How to Prevent Nausea after Eating?

One of the best ways to prevent nausea after eating is knowing the cause.

Once you are aware of the foods that trigger the uneasy feeling you can avoid them. Unfortunately, avoidance isn’t the ultimate solution.

To reduce the chances of contamination make sure your food is stored, cooked and washed carefully.

Nausea after eating is something that can throw anyone’s day off and is an easily preventable thing.

  • Avoid spicy, greasy, or fried foods
  • Suck ice cubes or crushed ice after meals
  • Avoid large meals and opt for small meals frequently
  • Chew your food properly and have bland foods like crackers or toast

When to See a Doctor?

If nausea after eating is disrupting your daily life to a greater extent, then you should visit the doctor.

You should seek medical help if you notice the below symptoms:

  • Blood in your stool or severe abdominal pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Temperature more than 101.5F
  • Severe vomiting

In the above cases, you should seek medical help before starting any home remedies.

These symptoms may be an indication of a serious underlying issue which can have an adverse effect on your health and get severe with time.

Watson, S., “What Causes Nausea After Eating?,” Healthline web site, Sept 09, 2016; https://www.healthline.com/health/nausea-after-eating#overview1.
Kandola, A., “Nausea after eating: Symptoms, causes, and treatment,” May 26, 2017, Medical News Today web site;  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317628.php.
“Nausea After Meals: Causes & Managements,” Md Health web site; http://www.md-health.com/Nausea-After-Eating.html, last accessed Nov 10, 2017.

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