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Nausea After Eating Early Pregnancy

by Clara Wynn
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Nausea After Eating Early Pregnancy

Nausea After Eating Early Pregnancy

Nausea After Eating Early Pregnancy: It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience nausea during early pregnancy — so much common that it has its own name: morning sickness. But while most cases of nausea are mild enough to be controlled with over-the-counter remedies like ginger or peppermint tea, some women find themselves dealing with severe bouts that make daily life miserable.

The causes of morning sickness are still under investigation, but one thing is certain: There is no cure. “Morning sickness” is actually an umbrella term used by doctors to describe any nauseous condition experienced by pregnant women. Morning sickness can range from mild discomfort to debilitating vomiting and even fainting spells. In fact, up to 80 percent of all pregnant women will suffer at least a few days of morning sickness.

Morning sickness tends to peak between weeks five and nine, although it may last as long as eight months. Typically, symptoms begin suddenly out of nowhere. Some women feel fine one minute and then wake up hours later feeling ill. Others get sick more often than others do. Women who have never experienced morning sickness before become affected within minutes of becoming pregnant. Seemingly innocuous foods like toast, crackers or popcorn can trigger a bout of nausea. The same holds true when eating spicy or salty foods, fatty meals or those containing caffeine. Even seemingly harmless smells like perfume or cigarette smoke can send many pregnant women into fits of heaving and retching.

Women who experience extreme morning sickness might require medical attention. If they vomit frequently, lose weight without gaining too much and don’t improve despite treatment, their doctor should consider testing them for hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness). Hyperemesis gravidarum is rare, affecting fewer than 1 percent of all pregnant women. However, if you’re experiencing nausea that keeps you from functioning normally — or worse, makes you want to avoid everything from work meetings to social gatherings — seek help immediately.

What happens inside your stomach during these episodes? Read on to learn about what triggers this uncomfortable sensation.

Causes of Nausea After Eating Food

Eating anything can set off nausea. It doesn’t matter whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert; there are plenty of options that’ll make you cringe. And just because something tastes good, doesn’t mean it won’t make you queasy. Certain foods contain compounds called volatile organic amines (VOCs) that affect our senses and brain chemistry. When eaten by pregnant women, VOCs can produce nausea and other unpleasant side effects. For example, consuming alcohol increases the amount of amines circulating in your blood, which affects your sense of smell and taste. Foods high in cholesterol also seem to increase VOC production. Other factors that influence the strength of your reaction include how big the meal is, what time of day it is, and how fast you ate.

How does your body know that it shouldn’t digest that cheeseburger? That question is answered by neurochemistry. Neurotransmitters send messages from nerve cells to another cell, telling it what action to take. One neurotransmitter, serotonin, plays a crucial role in regulating mood and appetite. Serotonin released in response to eating stimulates receptors in chemoreceptor neurons. These neurons detect chemicals in the bloodstream and relay information regarding the presence of harmful substances to the medulla oblongata part of your brain stem. You interpret this information as nausea. As such, foods that release large amounts of serotonin trigger nausea. Foods rich in tryptophan, particularly turkey, eggs, milk chocolate, cheese, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, rice, lettuce and onions block serotonin transport across the gut wall. Therefore, these foods tend to induce nausea [source WebMD].

If you’ve been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum or a similar condition, read on to discover how you can cope with the disease.

One woman described her experience with morning sickness thusly: “I felt like I was going to die. I couldn’t keep anything down. I vomited every two to three hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. I had nothing left to throw up.” She lost 24 pounds in six weeks.

Coping With Nausea After Eating Food

While nausea itself isn’t painful, it’s certainly inconvenient. To ease the pain of morning sickness, try taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin. Ibuprofen is probably the best choice, but call your doctor first to see if it’s appropriate for you.

Your doctor can also prescribe medication specifically designed to combat nausea. Antiemetics manage symptoms by targeting the area where nausea originates, the gastrointestinal tract. Common examples include dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), domperidone (Motilin agonist) and metoclopramide (Reglan). Antihistamines like Benadryl decrease histamine levels and relieve itching and sneezing associated with allergies. Medications like scopolamine patches can prevent motion sickness. Avoid driving until you are sure you aren’t suffering from nausea.

Finally, exercise regularly and consume lots of fluids to stay hydrated and provide energy.

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17 comments

Kailee August 27, 2022 - 9:24 pm

You are not supposed to take ibuprofen while pregnant, please edit this article and remove this misinformation.

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