The uneasy feeling we experience with an upset stomach due to motion sickness, infections, and other nasty “bugs” can kick us down.
Most of the time, nausea symptoms are only temporary and we can get on with our day.
But what if you’re feeling nauseous all day and every day? Should you take it seriously? Could it be an underlying condition that requires attention? It is important to know the cause of your nausea and then find the available treatment for nausea.
10 Causes: Why You Feel Nauseous All Day
Many times, nausea can be explained by various causes such as the stomach flu or motion sickness. While these usually do not require a visit to the doctor, there are other causes that may result in, or be the result of, a more serious condition.
1. Nausea Caused by Stress and Anxiety
If you are under stress at home or at work or experiencing anxiety over an upcoming task, your stomach may become queasy.
When you are feeling fearful, stressed, or anxious, your body produces extra adrenaline to deal with the underlying emotional turmoil. The adrenaline can cause discord among the acids, enzymes, and natural functions of the stomach and intestines.
In most cases, the nausea from fear will be temporary; however, any nausea from stress or anxiety may continue until the causes of these two disorders are controlled. This may warrant professional advice.
How to Manage Stress and Anxiety
If you often find yourself feeling nauseous in stressful or exciting (anxiety-inducing) situations, there are a few things you can try to calm your nerves and settle your stomach. They include:
- Deep breathing: Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Continue to do so until the nausea subsides. If you have to leave the room you’re in, do so.
- Light exercise: Include some in your daily routine. Going out for a walk, doing some yoga, or performing a brief workout can reduce stress and ease an overactive mind.
- Mindfulness/meditation: Focus on breathing and being in the moment to prevent fretting over past or future situations. Take some time every day to practice so you can move in and out of periods of mindfulness and conscious breathing whenever you need to.
- Relaxation: Allow yourself a “time-out” to relax with a good book, your favorite television show, a fun night out, visiting with friends, or working on a hobby.
- Visualization: Picturing yourself conquering your fears can help to ease stress and anxiety. When you see success, it becomes easier to achieve and experience it.
- Emotional support: Get support by talking to a trusted family member or friend. Sometimes just talking can ease stress and anxiety.
- Planning: Having an idea of what situations may arise and how you’ll handle them can help minimize anxiety.
- Healthy eating: Try to eat a healthful diet and minimize your alcohol intake. Alcohol can magnify stress and anxiety, while overeating can increase guilt and compound nauseous feelings.
- Rest: Always make time for rest.
2. Nausea Due to Overeating
Nausea resulting from an eating disorder such as overeating may be treatable at home. But even if the issue can be resolved with natural or over-the-counter treatments, you may still want to seek medical attention. An eating disorder could very well be an underlying symptom of a major health concern, be it physical or mental.
How to Ease the Stomach after Overeating
If you feel nauseated after eating too much, there are a couple of things you can do ease the discomfort. The first is to avoid feeling guilty about it! It happens to everyone, especially around the holidays when all the seasonal favorites appear! Some things you can try include:
- Slowing down. Take a minute to enjoy your food and chew it thoroughly. When you’re a little more mindful while enjoying a big meal, you’re less likely to overeat—and far less likely to suck in excess air as you gasp between bites. Ingesting too much air with your food can lead to stomach pain and nausea. Slowly eat your plate and wait 15 to 20 minutes before going back for more.
- Loosening your belt or avoiding tight-fitting clothes. Sometimes the clothes you wear can affect how you feel after eating too much. Releasing your belt or wearing non-restrictive clothing for big meals may be a way to minimize nausea from eating too much.
- Going for a light walk. After a big meal, a light walk can help with digestion and metabolism. Just make sure you go at a leisurely pace.
- Passing gas. If you feel the need to let some gas out via burping or flatulence, go for it! Just be mindful of your situation: if you’re in the company of others, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. If you’re alone, do what feels right!
- Not lying or sitting down—stay upright if you’re not feeling dizzy.
- Drinking herbal tea. Peppermint or chamomile may be your best bets. Sucking a peppermint candy may also help.
3. Food Poisoning
If you are nauseous all day, you may be experiencing food poisoning caused by bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, or listeria. Your nausea will be accompanied by fever, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and possibly even vomiting. Seek medical attention and be sure to rest and keep hydrated, even if it’s with ice chips.
When it comes to foodborne illness, depending on the type of bacteria or virus that’s been ingested, it can take weeks or months for symptoms to appear.
Don’t assume that foodborne illnesses are only active for a day or two. If you think you may have a foodborne illness or are suddenly feeling nauseated but can’t pinpoint the problem, see a doctor immediately.
Here are a few common foodborne illnesses, but there are many more that can affect you:
- Salmonella: Symptoms will occur between six and 48 hours and include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Once they appear, these symptoms will last between four and seven days.
- E.coli: Symptoms include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and some vomiting, and will appear within one to three days following infection. Symptoms may last for more than seven days.
- Listeria: Listeria can hit in a couple of ways: Gastrointestinal symptoms of an infection usually appear within nine to 48 hours, while an invasive infection takes two to six weeks to manifest. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Elderly folks or those with compromised immune systems may develop meningitis or bacteremia. The length of time symptoms stick around will vary.
Home Remedies to Treat Food Poisoning
The best treatment for foodborne illness is prevention. Once you’re infected, you’ll need medical attention. You can minimize the likelihood of infection by:
- Washing hands, utensils, and surfaces often with warm, soapy water. Do not rely on hand sanitizers and surface cleaners because they will not kill all the bacteria.
- Keep your raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Cook foods to a safe temperature to ensure bacteria are killed off. Using a food thermometer is the best way to accomplish this. Cook ground beef to 160 degrees Fahrenheit; steaks, roasts, and chops like lamb, pork, and veal to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit; and chicken and turkey to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods promptly. Store meat on the lowest level of the fridge or in a drawer to prevent potential leakages from contaminating other foods.
- Defrost food safely in the fridge or in cold water. If you use the “defrost” feature on your microwave, cook it immediately.
- If raw meat has a bad smell or slimy feel or you’re not sure whether it’s safe to eat, throw it away.
4. Hangover Nausea
A common cause of feeling nauseated all day is consuming too much alcohol the previous night. Rest and plenty of water are the usual treatments as a hangover must run its course, so to speak.
Remedies to Cure Hangover Nausea
Drinking too much the night before doesn’t have to leave you feeling ill the following day—however, you have to be realistic: it’s unlikely any of these suggestions will get you off scot-free.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat something fatty or take a couple of tablespoons of olive oil before drinking.
- Before drinking, try consuming the following supplements:
- After drinking heavily, before bed, you can take:
B-vitamin complex vitamins
- On the day of your hangover:
Try taking curcumin, the active compound in turmeric.
Eat antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, pecans, and kale in the morning.
5. Food Allergy
Similar to the feeling of having food poisoning, people experiencing an overactive immune response to a particular food will feel nauseated and may experience vomiting. It may also be brought on by a change in the diet. A health professional can help you discover the cause without having to try various diet changes.
Most food allergies that cause nausea in adults are triggered by specific proteins in:
- Shellfish like shrimp, lobster, or crab
- Tree nuts like walnuts or pecans
It’s also possible that the nausea and stomachaches you experience after eating certain foods are not due to an allergy, but rather intolerance. For example, you may have a gluten or lactose intolerance that makes you feel ill after eating foods that contain these ingredients. At the same time, you may be able to handle these foods if you eat them in small amounts.
If You Know You Have a Food Allergy, Follow These Steps
The best way to avoid nausea related to food allergies or intolerances is to learn which foods are causing the reactions and how to avoid them. You can do this by booking an appointment with a doctor and carefully reading ingredients lists on product labels.
You can plan and pack your meals and snacks at home to avoid purchasing foods with questionable ingredients. If you’re out at a restaurant, clearly indicate to your server that you have an allergy or intolerance to ensure your meal is prepared safely.
6. Morning Sickness (Nausea during Pregnancy)
Morning sickness is a normal side effect of pregnancy that leads to nausea. It typically doesn’t signify a serious condition, but is highly unpleasant, nonetheless. Morning sickness is often the first sign of pregnancy, and it affects about 80% of all pregnant women. There are even studies suggesting that morning sickness is an indicator of a healthy pregnancy.
Most cases of morning sickness won’t require a trip to the doctor for a treatment regimen. Fortunately, there are things you can try at home that may help reduce the symptoms.
- Get as much rest as possible, if you can. Being tired can enhance morning sickness.
- Drink small amounts of liquid throughout the day instead of large amounts at less frequent intervals. This may help ease nausea and vomiting. You can also try sucking on ice cubes.
- Consuming smaller meals more frequently throughout the day may also help. Cold meals; carbohydrates; and dry, savory foods may work best.
- Avoid an empty stomach.
- Keep some plain biscuits by your bedside and eat a few about 20 minutes before getting out of bed.
- Identify any triggers that may induce nausea and do your best to avoid them—these may include smells or flavors.
- Ginger supplements may help reduce nausea.
Certain prescribed and over-the-counter drugs can irritate the lining of your stomach, resulting in a constant feeling of nausea. This includes pain relievers like codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone.
Supplements with iron and potassium can also cause an upset stomach, as can aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications. Do not stop taking your medications, though. Discuss your nausea with your doctor.
What Can You Do If Medications Are Causing Nausea?
Because nausea is a potential side effect of countless medications, make sure you have a thorough conversation with your doctor before any new drug is prescribed. In cases where nausea is related to taking an OTC medication, cease use and book a doctor’s appointment to learn about any ingredients or contraindications that could be the cause.
Sometimes medications need to be taken with food, so ask your pharmacist. Having a meal or snack with your medications may be all that’s required to get rid of medicine-induced nausea. Also, make sure you’re taking the proper dosage.
8. Migraine Nausea
Nausea with a severe headache and sensitivity to light usually points to a migraine. Sometimes vomiting can follow. The queasiness is caused by the autonomic nervous system’s response to the pain. You may need to see your doctor if it continues or if you feel nauseous all day coupled with the other symptoms of a migraine.
How to Prevent Migraine Nausea
It can be pretty difficult to cut down on nausea if it’s one of the regular symptoms you experience with a migraine. Still, there are some things you can try to either reduce the severity of nausea or prevent the headache.
- If you have known migraine triggers, try your best to avoid them when possible.
- Get enough sleep.
- Drink water throughout the day—at least eight glasses. Drink more if you sweat a lot, are active, or spend time in the sun.
- Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
- Don’t consume too much caffeine or alcohol.
9. Organ Inflammation
Continuous nausea can be a sign of an inflamed gallbladder, pancreas, or appendix. If you have pain in the upper abdomen region with the nausea, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Chronic nausea is one of the symptoms of various abdominal disorders such as peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome. There is no cure for gastroparesis. Fortunately, there are treatments for the nausea.
Natural Remedies to Reduce Nausea
If your nausea is mild and does not require medical treatment, there are several things you can do at home to help relieve the feeling. If you’re curious about how to treat nausea at home, here are some of the best and easiest ways.
Ginger is one of the best natural remedies for nausea, whether in raw, tea, or even ginger ale form. It has phenols to relax the stomach muscles and calm the irritated tissue as it neutralizes the acidity with the body’s enzymes.
To make ginger tea, peel and slice one ginger root into small pieces and cover with wax paper. Crush into very small pieces and add two to three cups of boiling water. Boil for three to five minutes before enjoying.
To make ginger ale, place two cups of peeled and rough-cut gingerroot and three to four strips of lemon peel in a saucepan with four cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in one half to one cup of sugar, bringing it to a boil for 15 minutes. Strain and chill the syrup until cold.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
There are a few convincing pieces of research indicating that peppermint oil can help tame nausea. It may help by acting as an antiemetic and antispasmodic along the gastric lining, which can prevent vomiting. It’s believed that when consumed, compounds in peppermint oil inhibit muscular contractions.
A study looking at women who had just undergone surgical procedures noted that those who inhaled peppermint oil experienced less nausea and vomiting. Another study looking at chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting found that there was a significant benefit to taking peppermint oil. The peppermint oil was noted to reduce the intensity and frequency of vomiting in the 24-hour period following chemo sessions.
Peppermint oil for nausea may work best when it’s inhaled, as its consumption as a tea or capsule has not been well studied.
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has traditionally been viewed as a digestive relaxant that can help with nausea. Its benefits may come from its potential ability to help dispel gas, soothe the stomach, and relax muscles in the stomach and digestive tract.
4. Cannabis Oil
Depending on where you live, you could simply pick up some cannabis oil to help ease nausea. Legal in some states and in countries like Canada and the Netherlands, cannabis oil, or CBD oil (cannabidiol), has shown promise as a suitable treatment for nausea and the condition that causes it.
Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the high associated with marijuana (the compound that provides that effect in marijuana is THC). Some studies have shown that it can help ease anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, while other studies have shown it can settle the stomach, reduce intestinal inflammation, and regulate food intake and nausea. CBD oil is typically taken as an oral tincture.
Because the conditions of marijuana legality differ between states and countries, be sure to make yourself aware of laws where you reside.
Using the ancient Chinese tradition of acupressure, you can trigger a release of chemicals in your body to relax muscle tension and promote blood circulation.
Hold one hand out with your fingers pointing up and palm facing you. Use your other hand to position the first three fingers across the wrist. Place your thumb below your index finger, where you will feel two large tendons. Apply gentle, circular pressure to this area for two to three minutes whenever you feel nauseous. This is known as the P6 point, or inner gate. Repeat on the other hand.
6. Milk Toast
Two of the most common foods to help an upset stomach are milk, which coats your stomach, and bread, which absorbs acid. Sometimes dairy, or the thought of it, is too harsh, so we present milk toast.
This remedy is mainly for nausea associated with OTC pain medications. Heat one cup of milk until hot but not boiling. Pour the milk into a bowl and add broken-up pieces of buttered toast. Eat slowly, allowing your stomach to digest.
To compensate for pain in the neck and upper back regions, your stomach can become upset and nausea can set in. Simple exercises can relieve the nausea.
For your back, lie on the floor face down. Lift your upper body to allow your back to arch as you tilt your head back.
For your neck, tilt your head forward to have your chin touch your chest. Hold for 15 seconds. Tilt your head to one side as if your ear is touching your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
8. Fresh Lemon
The aroma of a fresh lemon can curb nausea while releasing a sense of calm over you. Slice a lemon into pieces and place them near you as you rest. If you can withstand it, sip on fresh lemon juice in water or suck on a piece of the lemon for fast relief.
9. Other Essential Oils for Nausea
We noted peppermint oil above, but other essential oils have also been used to aid nausea sensations. Take note that they must be used with care. Some essential oils can be toxic, especially if they are inhaled or consumed at their regular potency.
To get the most from these oils, dilution will be a necessity. You can accomplish this by dispersing them into the air through a diffuser for inhalation or diluting them with a carrier oil if you wish to apply them directly to the skin.
Essential oils can help tame nausea by reducing anxiety, encouraging relaxation, relaxing gastric muscles, and more. Some suitable options, depending on the cause of nausea, include:
- Lavender oil: It helps to ease anxiety and encourage relaxation.
- Ginger oil: This can help with motion sickness and nausea.
- Spearmint oil: The oil may have similar effects as ginger and peppermint, and may work as a topical rub applied to the stomach or intestinal area. Like other essential oils, it can also be inhaled through a diffuser.
- Cardamom oil: This herb comes from the same family as ginger and may help with post-operative nausea when mixed with other essential oils or used on its own. It may also help with relaxation.
- Fennel oil: It can help relax the digestive tract, which may help with nausea.
10. Go Ahead and Vomit
Sometimes the best thing you can do to get rid of nausea is spend some quality time with your porcelain throne. Vomiting may be just what you need to relieve your symptoms, specifically if it’s a result of brief food poisoning or alcohol.
11. Meditate or Take Deep Breaths
Learn how to calm the body and mind through meditation or deep breathing. This remedy may be especially effective for nausea caused by stress or anxiety.
Although deep breathing is a part of meditation, you don’t necessarily have to meditate to deep breathe. Breathing in slowly through your nose for a five-second inhale, then holding it in your lungs for three seconds before release may help calm nerves that promote nausea.
The best part about this remedy is that you can do it virtually anywhere in any situation.
12. BRAT Diet
BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast, and it’s a diet that is supposed to be easy on the stomach to lessen the effects of nausea and vomiting. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to stick to these four foods. Just focus on eating items that are bland, easy to digest, and highly unlikely to encourage any kind of reaction.
Additional Tips to Get Rid of Nausea
Sometimes the best offense is a great defense, so focusing on ways to prevent nausea can often prevent you from experiencing it in the first place. Some preventative measures include:
- Washing your hands and surfaces if handling raw food (lowers risk of foodborne illness).
- Storing and thawing raw food in the refrigerator on the lower level or a segregated compartment.
- Avoiding spicy or fatty foods if you have an upset stomach.
- Adding protein to meals.
- Eating smaller meals and avoiding large ones.
- Staying upright for 30 to 60 minutes after eating; take a nice walk to help pass the time.
- Not consuming too much liquid while eating.
- Staying hydrated.
- Avoiding strong smells (especially with pregnancy-related nausea).
- If pregnant, avoiding supplements containing iron during the first trimester.
Being nauseous all day can interfere with your daily activities, especially if the nausea is severe or accompanied by vomiting. In many situations, it can be treated with various home remedies and does not require a trip to the doctor’s office.
There are cases that do need immediate medical attention, however, particularly if you’re also experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath and back or jaw pain. These are common heart attack symptoms in women.
In addition to the natural treatments listed, try not to dwell on the thought of your nausea. For some, it can worsen the feeling of nausea, particularly if you have a fear of vomiting—it can be mind over matter for some.
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