Many people have the question “I am feeling nauseous after eating always, why?” Feeling sick after eating can be due to many different reasons ranging from mild stress or food allergies to serious medical conditions. We need to think of least harmful causes of feeling nauseous after eating first.
Then if the condition of feeling sick after eating is not resolved with simple home remedies and rest, you might need to consult a health care professional to rule out serious medical ailments.
Let us look at the most common causes of feeling nauseous after eating first. Let us also look at some tips to solve nausea after eating. Let us also learn the different conditions under which you need to be extra cautious and visit your physician.
Causes of feeling nauseous after eating:
Feeling nauseous after eating is caused by innumerable causes. Let us look at all the possible causes of feeling sick after eating.
Inappropriate eating habits:
We need to eat very slowly and chew eat a bite of food for 32 times in order to incorporate the saliva and salivary enzymes in the food. This enables easy digestion of the food and prevents all the gastric troubles.
But, some people have the habit of eating very fast. They also chew the food very fast and less than the required number of times. This can lead to indigestion, which can, in turn, lead to feeling nauseous after eating.
Having long gaps between meals:
Many people have the habit of eating only once or twice in a day. During these meals, they tend to eat heavy meals. As these people have long gaps between the meals, acids accumulate in the stomach for prolonged periods.
When gastric acids accumulate for long periods, you will surely experience feeling sick after eating. In order to avoid such problems, make sure to have small gaps between your meals.
Eat number of meals frequently. But, make sure to eat only small quantities of food during these meals.
Mental stress and anxiety play a vital role in causing many diseases. Feeling nauseous after eating is no exception to that. If you are feeling very stressed, anxious or depressed, you tend to activate your sympathetic nervous system.
When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the hormones or neurotransmitters like catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) are triggered. They lead to the fight or flight response.
During the fight or flight response, all the blood in the body is diverted to the muscles, heart, respiratory tract, etc. This makes you breathe fast, have rapid heartbeat or palpitations, etc.
Adequate blood is not supplied to your digestive tract. This makes you feel nauseous after eating.
Do you know what dyspepsia is? Dyspepsia is the medical term used for indigestion. Many people suffer from dyspepsia for many years. Dyspepsia or indigestion is one of the most common reasons for feeling nauseous after eating.
People suffering from dyspepsia or indigestion also have abdominal fullness or bloating, burping, passing excessive flatus, abdominal cramps or discomfort in addition to feeling sick after eating.
Many people suffer from peptic ulcer disease. In this condition, the innermost mucosal lining which protects the stomach and duodenum from acidic food contents is eroded and forms an ulcer. Many drugs like NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, eating spicy food can aggravate the peptic ulcers.
People suffering from peptic ulcer disease have pain behind the sternum or pain below the ribs, that is an epigastric pain. They also have reflux of acidic contents into the esophagus and mouth. In addition to these symptoms, they also feel nauseous after eating.
Allergies to certain food substances:
Some people suffer from food allergies. Their body cannot tolerate some types of food. If you have eaten any such type of food to which you are allergic to, then you will definitely feel sick after eating.
Your body tries to eliminate any food that it is allergic to or any food that it cannot tolerate by feeling nauseous after eating nd by vomiting.
If you have ever eaten anything that you are allergic to, you will notice that you will feel much better after vomiting the food. So, always avoid foods that you are allergic to.
Many of us are fond of eating outside in some food joints or restaurants. Sometimes, such places don’t maintain adequate hygiene. When you eat foods in such places which are infected with microbes like bacteria and fungi, your body cannot tolerate it.
Your body always tries to protect you by eliminating harmful foods from the body in the form of vomiting. This is the reason for you to feel nauseous after eating. So, whenever you feel sick after eating, try to think of recent foods that you have eaten outside to rule out food poisoning.
Acute GE is the abbreviation of Acute Gastroenteritis. Sometimes the food you eat might be infected with bacteria, viruses, and fungi similar to food poisoning.
In gastroenteritis, the symptoms are caused directly by the microbes themselves. In food poisoning, the symptoms or discomfort are caused by the toxins or poisonous substances produced by the microbes.
In people suffering from Gastroenteritis or Acute GE, there are symptoms like abdominal cramps or pain, feeling nauseous after eating, diarrhea, etc.
GERD is the abbreviation of Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Some people suffer from the reflux or regurgitation of food substances from the stomach back into their esophagus and mouth. This tastes sour in the mouth.
These people also have symptoms like heartburn or pain behind the breastbone or sternum, coughing at night, having a bad smell in the mouth or halitosis, etc. They also suffer from feeling nauseous after eating.
A migraine headache:
If you have a question “Every time I eat I feel nauseous, why?” then Migraine can also be a reason for you to feel nauseated after eating. A migraine headache causes pain on one side of the head, fainting and feeling nauseous after eating.
Some people with Migraines can also suffer from visual disturbances like blurry vision, changes in color vision, seeing black holes in the field of vision, zig zag lines, etc.
Cholelithiasis or gallstones cause pain in the right upper part of the abdomen just below the ribs or in the right hypochondrium. Pain in the abdomen is caused when you eat fatty and oily foods. When you eat these foods, you might also develop feeling nauseous after eating.
If you are suffering from gallstones, they might obstruct the bile duct and you might develop complications like choledocholithiasis, cholecystitis or infection and inflammation of the gallbladder, etc.
So, if you have gallstones, you will need to visit your physician. Your gallbladder needs to be removed surgically by cholecystectomy to prevent the complications of gallstones.
Appendix is the organ which is present at the junction of the cecum and ileum of the intestines or at the ileocecal junction. Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix caused by microbial infections.
When you develop appendicitis, you suffer from anorexia or lack of appetite, feeling nauseous after eating, and abdominal pain. Abdominal pain or discomfort initially starts around the umbilicus or belly button and then radiates to the right iliac fossa or the right lower part of the abdomen.
If you have any such symptoms of appendicitis apart from nausea after eating, visit your healthcare provider immediately. Your appendix needs to be removed by an operation called appendicectomy.
Cyclic vomiting syndrome:
If you suffer from cyclic vomiting syndrome, you will suffer from episodes of feeling sick after eating and vomiting. These episodes or bouts of vomiting and nausea last for few days, almost less than a week.
Then later the symptoms resolve and then again recur after some days. The people suffering from cyclic vomiting syndrome don’t have any other symptoms apart from feeling nauseous after eating.
In women who have become pregnant, feeling sick after eating is one of the most common symptoms. This is called morning sickness. Morning sickness or feeling nauseous after eating is an extremely common symptom in the 1st trimester of pregnancy.
Other symptoms that suggest that you are pregnant are breast enlargement and soreness, the absence of menses or amenorrhea, a gain of weight, etc.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder caused by psychological problems and phobia of gaining weight. In this condition, the affected person repeatedly vomits the food by self-induced vomiting.
As these people are habituated to vomiting regularly, their body can’t accept the food suddenly. So, they have the symptom of feeling nauseous after eating.
Irritable bowel syndrome:
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is yet again another cause for feeling sick after eating. People suffering from this condition have abdominal pain or cramps, bloating of abdomen, alternating diarrhea and constipation.They also feel nauseous after eating apart from these symptoms.
Some tips for relief from nausea after eating or vomiting after eating:
Some types of eating habits tend to develop feeling sick after eating. So, you need to modify your dietary habits to prevent the vomiting after eating. Just make sure you eat small frequent meals. You also need to chew the food properly before swallowing.
Don’t drink water immediately after your meals or between the meals. Maintain a gap of 1 hours between meals and drinking water. Even if you need to drink water, take only a small sip of water.
Also, try to avoid eating spicy and oily foods to a maximum possible extent. These foods aggravate your gastric troubles and make you feel nauseous after eating.
Stress and anxiety are one of the most common reasons for feeling nauseous after eating. So, to control, nausea after eating, you will need to minimize your stress levels.
Just start practicing different types of relaxation techniques. Do yoga and meditation. They calm your mind and also rejuvenate your body and soul. You can also take part in some clubs like laughing clubs. You can try to do swimming regularly. It also relaxes your mind and body.
Quit smoking and drinking:
Smoking and drinking can aggravate the problems like peptic ulcers, gastritis, and GERD. These are some of the reasons for feeling sick after eating. Apart from nausea after eating, they also cause many other problems like nervous disorders, lung cancers, throat cancers, etc.
So, try to quit smoking and alcohol. If you find it difficult to quit them yourself, you can take the help of rehabilitation programs or a psychologist or counselor.
Sometimes, you might need to take drugs to control your symptoms of feeling nauseous after eating. Such drugs include antiemetics like domperidone, ondansetron, granisetron, metoclopramide, etc.
You also need to take drugs controlling acidity and heartburn if your feeling sick after eating is caused by them. Such drugs include proton pump inhibitors like pantoprazole, omeprazole, etc. But, you need to consult a physician before taking these drugs as some drugs do have serious side effects.
When to consult a physician:
You have seen all the different causes of feeling nauseous after eating and also some tips for controlling your nausea after eating. Now, let us look at some of the main reasons for you to visit a physician when you feel sick after eating.
- You need to see your doctor if you are extremely dehydrated and have symptoms like dry skin, mucous membranes, very less urination than usual, you feel dizzy or feel like fainting, have very fast pulse rate or pounding heart or palpitations, etc.
- Visit your doctor if you have severe diarrhea along with nausea and vomiting after food.
- If you have blood in your stools or if you have black or dark colored stools.
- If you have severe abdominal pain in the right upper part of your abdomen or right lower part of your abdomen along with feeling nauseous after eating.
- If your symptoms don’t resolve with simple home remedies after 3 to 4 days.
- If you are a woman and you have any symptoms suggesting that you are pregnant.
- If you have a fever or high temperature or neck stiffness or rigidity along with vomiting after eating.
- If you have developed any kind of skin rash all over your body.
- If you have developed these symptoms after eating some food outside your home.
Feeling nauseous after eating can be really a very frustrating feeling. So, take all the precautions and follow proper advice to get rid of the symptoms of nausea and vomiting after eating. If you find something problematic with your condition, don’t delay visiting your physician.