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What Side To Lay On When Nauseous

by Clara Wynn
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What Side To Lay On When Nauseous

What Side To Lay On When Nauseous

What Side To Lay On When Nauseous? You’re standing at a party when you suddenly feel ill and begin to sweat. You think that might be something to eat or drink but don’t have any idea what it was. The next thing you notice is your nausea getting worse. After a few minutes, you realize that if this keeps up, you’ll end up in bed with an upset stomach. What happened? Was there something you ate or drank that made you sick?

It may seem like a sudden attack of nausea would only last for a moment. But even though nausea itself doesn’t cause pain, it does make people uncomfortable. And because it happens so fast, we often are not able to identify its source.

Nausea is caused by many different things — some physical, others psychological. For example, motion sickness occurs when someone has eaten or drunk too much over the course of several hours, which affects their inner ear and balance system. Another common reason for nausea is eating spicy foods or drinking alcohol. Some medications also cause nausea. If you experience frequent bouts of nausea, talk to your doctor about whether there could be another underlying condition causing them.

If you’ve been diagnosed with morning sickness during pregnancy, you know how difficult it can be to pinpoint the exact cause of nausea. In general, however, nausea typically comes on gradually, lasts between 15 minutes and four hours and becomes less severe as time goes on. It usually feels best after eating or drinking.

When you get nauseated, it can become all-encompassing. You may want to lie down, take a break from socializing and avoid certain activities such as driving, operating machinery and flying. Although most cases of nausea occur without complications, they do happen rather frequently. Approximately 20 percent of adults who vomit once will do so again within 12 months.

In addition to the discomfort associated with nausea, there are other reasons why vomiting may occur. Learn about these possible causes later in this article. First, let’s look at how nausea works physiologically.

How Does Your Stomach Work With Nausea?

Your digestive system consists of three sections: the mouth, throat and esophagus; the stomach, small intestine and colon; and the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Digestive enzymes help the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats into absorbable molecules. These enzymes come in two types: secreted and intracellular. Secreted enzymes are released through the walls of the intestines to help break down nutrients. Intracellular enzymes stay inside cells throughout the body. They’re used to produce hormones and transmit messages among various organs.

Intracellular enzymes are responsible for breaking down the food you eat. Enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins and release glucose (sugar) into the blood stream. Enzymes found in the stomach and small intestine turn lipids — fatty acids and cholesterol — into bile. Bile carries the fat out of the body through the liver.

Some scientists believe that the brain sends signals to the stomach telling it when to secrete gastric juices [Source: Science Daily]. This theory explains why nausea is sometimes accompanied by heartburn or acid reflux.

Once the digestive process begins, the movement of fluids in the gastrointestinal tract gets under way. As discussed earlier, gravity plays an important role in helping the body transport digested food from the small intestine to the large intestine. Once the stomach receives the signal to empty, it releases fluid containing undigested material. This mixture contains water, salt, bile and mucus. Saliva mixed with air then moves along the esophagus toward the back of the throat and eventually exits the body via the mouth.

As mentioned previously, nausea can occur due to many factors including eating spicy foods, consuming alcohol or smoking marijuana. Let’s find out why these substances affect us.

Alcohol consumption contributes to nausea. A study published in the medical journal “Gastroenterology” showed that women who consumed moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages were more likely to report nausea than those who didn’t consume alcohol.

Smoking marijuana appears to increase nausea. Marijuana users reported feeling nauseated more often than nonusers did. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why this is, although one possibility is that smoking marijuana interferes with the normal functioning of the central nervous system.

Although they may appear harmless at first glance, both alcohol and marijuana contain compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids act upon receptors located in the central nervous system. Scientists still haven’t determined exactly how cannabis affects the human mind and body, but researchers suspect that it stimulates cannabinoid receptors in the brain, leading to changes in mood, memory and appetite.

Cannabinoid receptors exist in areas of the brain involved in regulating our sensory perception, motor skills and memory function. Stimulating cannabinoid receptors leads to feelings of euphoria and relaxation. However, this stimulation may lead to nausea as well.

Eating spicy foods can trigger nausea. Spicy foods contain capsaicin, which irritates nerve endings in the lining of the stomach. Capsaicin triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as substance P, which send a message to the gut to contract and push against the intestinal wall. This contraction produces gas and makes the person feel bloated, full and nauseous. Eating hot peppers, chili powder or curry paste can lead to this reaction.

Other possibilities include viral infections, bacterial infection, parasites, nutritional deficiency, poor circulation and emotional distress. Discuss these possible causes with your physician or health care provider.

Now that you understand how nausea works physiologically, read on to learn about its psychological aspects.

One theory suggests that nausea is caused by excess carbon dioxide produced when breathing. People with emphysema and chronic bronchitis tend to suffer from nausea more often than those without these conditions. Because carbon dioxide is expelled through the lungs, increased levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream can put pressure on nerves near the brain stem, resulting in nausea.

Psychological Causes of Nausea

According to Dr. Alan Raskin, director of the Center for Perinatal Psychology & Health at Monash University, anxiety, depression, stress, fear and anger play key roles in triggering nausea. He says that women experiencing morning sickness are particularly sensitive to environmental stimuli. Women who are pregnant may start noticing nausea as early as 16 weeks gestation. By 24 weeks, 75 percent of pregnant women complain of symptoms related to morning sickness.

Stress is believed to be one of the main culprits behind morning sickness. Anxiety and worries are known to cause nausea. Studies show that women who experience nausea are more prone to worry about everything from losing weight to passing viruses. Other possible psychological causes of nausea include dieting, fatigue, dehydration and low blood sugar.

Dr. Raskin advises women who experience episodes of nausea to try to relax. He recommends listening to music, reading a book or doing yoga to reduce tension. If necessary, call a friend or family member for support.
Men who experience nausea should see their doctors immediately. Men who develop a persistent case of morning sickness shouldn’t smoke, overeat or engage in sexual activity until they speak with their physicians.

For more information on nausea, peruse the links on the following page.
Morning sickness peaks around day 13 of pregnancy. Most women will go through a period of nausea lasting two to three days before it subsides completely. During this time, expectant mothers are encouraged to sleep as much as possible. Drinking plenty of liquids is recommended. Avoid foods that are known to aggravate the condition — spicy, salty, greasy, caffeine-laden or highly acidic foods. If nausea persists longer than three days, contact a doctor.

Most women will experience milder forms of nausea during their pregnancies. About 10 to 25 percent of women will experience moderate to severe nausea.

Severe nausea is characterized by headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pains and fainting. An estimated 1 percent of women will experience hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially life-threatening form of extreme nausea and vomiting. Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs in approximately 0.1 percent of pregnancies.

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