Nausea And Headache After Eating
Nausea And Headache After Eating: Headaches are a common problem that affect more than 50 million Americans each year. While there are several different types of headaches, nausea is one possible side effect. Nausea usually refers to the feeling of sickness in the upper stomach or throat area. The symptoms include yawning, dry mouth, upset stomach, heartburn, and bloating. Most people who suffer from bouts of nausea also have other gastrointestinal issues such as gas, constipation, diarrhea, or indigestion. When nausea occurs with these problems, it makes digestion difficult and uncomfortable. In severe cases, nausea may lead to vomiting.
Although most episodes of nausea pass within an hour or two, some stick around for longer periods of time. If you experience headaches after eating, see your doctor. It’s important to detect and treat conditions like abnormal blood sugar, TMJ disorder, or food allergies and intolerances, if they’re what’s causing your headaches. Luckily, many headaches after eating can be treated easily.
Causes Of Headache Pain After Eating
There are numerous causes of post-meal pain. One cause could be dietary — foods containing certain additives, spices or even alcohol can irritate the lining of the digestive tract. Another cause could be related to medications. Certain antibiotics, decongestants, diuretics, narcotics, barbiturates, vitamins, aspirin, antihistamines, antacids, laxatives, narcotic drugs and sedative/hypnotics can all trigger nausea and headache pain. Medications used to treat migraines, fibromyalgia, PMS and endometriosis can also cause nausea and headaches. Lastly, there are medical conditions that can worsen headaches, including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and dehydration.
Diagnosing Your Condition
You should always consult with your physician before taking any over-the-counter medication. However, it’s easy enough to rule out some of the less serious causes of headaches by yourself first. For example, if you suspect drug interaction, you should contact your pharmacist immediately. You can also use home remedies to determine whether your condition is caused by something minor, such as stress, fatigue or dehydration.
To help rule out potential life-threatening situations, take note of any changes in your normal routine, diet and work schedule. A change in sleep patterns, amount of exercise, or amount of caffeine consumed might indicate an underlying health issue. Similarly, if your headaches start after consuming alcohol, switch to a nonalcoholic beverage. Alcohol consumption has been linked to increased incidence of nausea and head pain.
Once you’ve ruled out potentially dangerous medical conditions and lifestyle choices, you’ll want to consider treatment options. Unfortunately, since the exact cause of your nausea isn’t known, the best way to treat it is based on trial and error. There are a number of treatments available, but the decision will ultimately depend upon several factors, including severity of the headache and how long the episode lasts.
The most effective method of treating simple bouts of nausea is often prevention. By avoiding triggers, you may prevent future attacks altogether. You can try removing suspected triggers from your daily life. This includes limiting caffeinated beverages, alcohol, spicy foods, smoking and recreational drugs. Also, avoid lying down during an attack. This position restricts circulation to the brain and puts pressure on nerves and joints. Try drinking fluids to keep hydrated.
For more persistent bouts of nausea, doctors can prescribe drugs designed to block nausea and vomiting. One popular option is called aprepitant. Aprepitant works by preventing the production of chemicals that induce nausea. Other methods of relieving nausea include domperidone, metoclopramide, prochlorperazine, promethazine, scopolamine and terfenadine. Doctors may also recommend acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, herbal medicine, massage therapy, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, meditation or yoga.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
While it’s not always possible to completely eliminate attacks, you can do your best to minimize their frequency and duration. Take steps to limit your exposure to nausea triggers. Avoid stressful situations whenever possible. Get plenty of rest at night, eat well-balanced meals every three hours, drink lots of water, stay away from alcohol and caffeine, and get regular exercise. Finally, talk to your doctor about your specific situation so he or she can provide expert advice.
Most sufferers find relief from their nausea through self-medication. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are widely available. These include acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Motrin), naproxen sodium (such as Aleve), and naproxen (such as Bayer). OTC products only provide temporary relief, however. They don’t address the root of the problem, and eventually patients return to their pre-attack level of discomfort. Prescription NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are also commonly used to relieve headaches. Ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, naproxen and diclofenac potassium are examples of prescription NSAIDS.
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