Causes Of Nausea After Eating
Causes Of Nausea After Eating: Nausea and vomiting are among the most common medical complaints seen in primary care practices today. The timing of the nausea or vomiting can indicate the cause. When appearing shortly after a meal, nausea or vomiting may be caused by food poisoning, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), an ulcer, or bulimia. Nausea or vomiting one to eight hours after a meal may also indicate food poisoning. However, certain food-borne bacteria, such as salmonella, can take longer to produce symptoms.
When you have nausea, your doctor will want to know what foods you’ve eaten recently. If possible, keep a diary of everything that’s been consumed during the day. This information is especially important if you’re pregnant, nursing, or taking medications, since some drugs can affect how food affects the body. Certain prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, arthritis, heartburn, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, migraines, Parkinson’s disease, birth control pills, and chemotherapy can make you nauseous. Alcohol consumption can contribute to nausea and vomiting. You might experience nausea when you consume caffeine, chocolate, spicy or fatty foods, citrus juices, tomatoes, onions, carbonated beverages, and mints.
The following are some causes of nausea and vomiting:
Food Poisoning – Food poisoning occurs when bacteria enter the stomach from contaminated food. Bacterial infections include those due to E. coli, Listeria moncytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens, and other bacterial strains.
Gastritis – Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. It can be caused by infection with various viruses, parasites, bacteria, fungi, and yeasts. Viral infections include influenza virus, which attacks the gastrointestinal tract; coxsackie A, B, and C viruses, which infect cells in the lining of the small intestine and colon; adenoviruses, which attack the esophagus, stomach, and intestines; and rotavirus, which infects the stomach. Parasitic infections include Giardiasis, which affects the lower portion of the small intestine; amoebic infections, including Entamoeba histolytica, which attack the large intestine; and Strongyloides stercoralis, which spreads through skin contact with soil. Fungi include Candida albicans, which attacks the mouth, nose, throat, lungs, kidneys, bladder, vagina, liver, and intestinal walls; Histoplasma capsulatum, which attacks the lungs, intestines, and lymph nodes; and Aspergillus fumigatus, which develops on bread, cheese, peanuts, and corn. Yeasts include Candida species, Cryptococcus neoformans, Trichosporon spp., and Torulopsis glabrata.
Ulcers – Ulcers occur when damage to the mucosal layer allows digestive enzymes to leak into the underlying tissues. Causes of ulcers include stress, smoking, prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, peptic ulcer disease, acid reflux, Helicobacter pylori, bile acids, corticosteroids, radiation therapy, autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease and Behçet’s disease, and infection by parasites such as Schistosoma mansoni, Sarcocystis cruzi, and Trypanosoma gondii.
Bulimia nervosa – Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating followed by purging. Purging refers to self-induced emesis, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse, excessive exercise, fasting, and over-the-counter medication (such as Advil) combined with alcohol intake. People who engage in this behavior often feel depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, and disgusted about their actions. Treatment typically includes psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, and nutrition education. In addition, many people recover through participation in support groups, where they learn coping strategies.
Pregnancy – Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting usually start around the 16th week of pregnancy and continue until delivery. Most cases of morning sickness resolve within two weeks postpartum, but severe cases may persist throughout the entire pregnancy. Morning sickness can be relieved with ginger root supplements, vitamin B6, calcium supplements, avoiding triggers such as cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, and motion sickness remedies containing scopolamine. Women with chronic nausea and vomiting should consult their physician immediately because it could signal more serious problems such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or herpes simplex virus infection.
A variety of conditions can bring on nausea and vomiting. They range from mild discomfort to life threatening emergencies. Your health practitioner can diagnose the underlying problem and prescribe treatment. If you don’t improve with home treatments, see your family physician.
If you develop persistent nausea and vomiting, see your doctor right away. He’ll examine you and perform tests to determine the cause. Your doctor may order blood work, urine analysis, X-rays, and/or endoscopy. Once he has determined the source of your condition, your specialist can treat it effectively. In general, doctors recommend staying on top of potential sources of infection and treating them promptly. For example, if you think you’ve come down with flu, get checked out right away. Your doctor can help ensure that any viral infection does not escalate into something more serious.
Here are some tips to relieve nausea and vomiting:
Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, which can lead to blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, weakness, and dizziness.
Eat bland, low-fat meals. Avoid salty snacks between meals, and eat slowly so that you won’t become nauseous before swallowing each bite. Foods and drinks rich in salt and fat tend to stimulate appetite, while reducing the amount of saliva in the mouth promotes good taste sensations. Also avoid fried and greasy foods, as well as caffeinated sodas, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products. These substances can all trigger nausea and vomiting.
Take acetaminophen regularly. Over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol and Excedrin contain ingredients that reduce pain and fever. Acetaminophen relieves nausea too. Ask your pharmacist or physician for dosage recommendations. Never exceed recommended doses. Older adults may need higher dosages than younger ones. Check with your doctor before using aspirin. It may increase risk of bleeding complications. Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are taking NSAIDs. Other things that can upset the stomach include dairy products, coffee, chocolate, peppermint, curry spices, and onion-garlic combinations.
Get enough rest. Rest helps fight nausea and vomiting. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate the effects of nausea and vomiting. Get at least 7–8 hours of sleep per night.
Keep yourself calm. Learn relaxation techniques to manage stress. Take time to unwind and do things you enjoy. Some people find comfort in herbal teas, warm baths, massage, exercise, music, aromatherapy, meditation, yoga, or petting animals.
Try acupressure wristbands. Wristbands are worn around the arm and apply gentle pressure points on the hand, wrist, and forearm. This technique stimulates acupuncture energy flow and improves circulation.
Chew gum. Chewing sugarless hard candy, chewing gum, or sucking hard candies can provide temporary relief. Sugarless gum contains xylitol, which reduces swelling and provides short-term relief. Hard candy contains sorbitol, another type of sugar alcohol. Sorbitol produces a sweet feeling without triggering a glucose response.
For a natural remedy, try ginger tea. Ginger root (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) is a popular herb used in traditional medicine. Fresh ginger root contains powerful healing compounds called shogaols. The best way to prepare fresh ginger is by grating or shredding it very finely. Then place 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger in 1 cup boiling water. Cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Acupuncture works wonders on nausea and vomiting. Patients report immediate improvement after only one session. Unlike Western medicines, acupuncture treats the whole person rather than just the symptom. Using needles, acupuncturists locate and stimulate specific areas along pathways known as meridians. This form of Chinese medicine dates back thousands of years. Today, however, scientists still aren’t sure exactly why it eases nausea and vomiting. Many believe that acupuncture releases endorphins, causing euphoria. Others suggest that it relaxes muscles and relieves spasms. Still others say that it corrects dysfunction of organs associated with nausea and vomiting. Whatever the reason, patients agree that acupuncture feels great!
Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative treatment option for nausea and vomiting. Acupuncturists offer professional services in a wide range of specialties. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether acupuncture can benefit you.
Most herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine have both stimulating and relaxing properties. Used properly, herbs can promote healthy digestion and balance. Here are several examples:
Fennel seed. Aniseed flavored and shaped like seeds.
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