Here’s Why You Suffer From Nausea After Eating and How to Stop It

Here's Why You Suffer From Nausea After Eating and How to Stop It
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Having a feeling of nausea after eating can make mealtimes a worrying event. Of course, it’s possible to feel nauseous at other times during the day. However, if, after every time you eat, you feel sick and queasy it could take the enjoyment out of eating. Along with a queasy stomach, you may have dizziness, gas, abdominal pain, and a general feeling of wanting to be sick after eating.

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There are many reasons for having a nausea after eating, and it’s not always to do with food. The nauseous feeling after eating could be connected with stress, a digestive problem, a stomach ulcer, indigestion, or another medical condition. Of course, some of these reasons can cause you to feel sick at other times. However, if after every time you eat you feel nauseous, should this be something for you to worry about?

In most cases, the feelings of nausea after eating isn’t anything to worry about. There are also many effective home remedies that can help to prevent or relieve the sickly feeling in your stomach.

In this article, you will learn about the many causes of having a queasy stomach after eating. You will also find out when you should see a doctor if you have persistent nausea after finishing a meal.

Common Reasons for Nausea After Eating

Identifying the underlying reasons for feeling queasy after eating is the first step in resolving the unpleasant, sickly feeling. This information can help you treat the causes of nausea and allow you to enjoy your meals without the worry of developing a feeling of sickness.

Food poisoning

Consuming contaminated food is a very common reason for having a sick feeling in your stomach after eating. Food can become contaminated by foodborne viruses, bacteria, or parasites. This usually happens if the food has been improperly handled, prepared in unsanitary conditions, or not cooked properly enough.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramping and pains after eating. These unpleasant symptoms can appear within a few hours after eating contaminated food. However, in some cases, the symptoms can appear days or even weeks after consuming food containing germs and microbes.1

In most cases, it is possible to prevent food poisoning and avoid its unpleasant symptoms by taking the proper precautions when handling and cooking food. To find out more on how to treat symptoms of food poisoning, please read my article on ways to recover from food poisoning faster.

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Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is sometimes called the stomach flu and it can cause you to feel nauseous after eating. Gastroenteritis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection and causes inflammation in the gut leading to symptoms similar to food poisoning. So, if you have been infected with a stomach bug, you may experience abdominal cramping, vomiting (possibly projectile vomiting), and watery stools after eating.

Dr. Tim Kenny on Patient.info says that food poisoning causes some cases of gastroenteritis. Common stomach bugs that can cause nausea and sickness after eating are E. coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. You could also suffer from gastroenteritis after drinking contaminated water.2

The best way to prevent becoming sick with gastroenteritis or spreading the disease to others is to regularly wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom.

Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammatory condition of the stomach lining which can cause nausea after eating. Gastritis is often caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria which can damage the lining of the stomach. Other causes of gastritis are the overuse of alcohol, stress, chronic vomiting, and certain medications.3

Although gastritis can cause nausea on and off at any time, the Medical University of South Carolina says that the stomach discomfort and nausea usually occurs after eating.4 Along with the sickly feeling in your stomach, you may experience excessive gas, vomiting, and stomach pain.

If gastritis is caused by the H.Pylori bacteria, you can find out some natural ways to treat helicobacter pylori infections naturally. Other reasons for having a sour stomach could be acid reflux, indigestion, or a peptic ulcer.

Stomach (peptic) ulcer

If you constantly have a nauseous feeling every time after eating, it could be because of irritation caused by a stomach ulcer. Ulcers in the stomach are caused by the H.Pylori bacterial infection which eats away at the stomach lining. The discomfort and nausea can come and go but is often felt after eating a meal.

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According to Dr. Gregory Thompson on WebMD, the most common symptoms of ulcers are bloating or nausea after eating, a burning sensation in your abdomen area, and pain around your belly. To get rid of the pain and nauseous feeling, you should treat the bacterial infection.

Taking baking soda and water can provide relief from the symptoms of a stomach ulcer. You should mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. The alkaline effect of baking soda helps to neutralize your stomach acid which is irritating your inflamed stomach lining. Drink the baking soda remedy every time you feel nauseous after a meal. You can use the remedy daily for up to 10 days.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is usually associated with feelings of sickness and nausea. However, in some women, certain foods can trigger feelings of nausea after eating.

A study into the causes of vomiting and nausea in pregnancy found that changes in a pregnant women’s hormone levels could be associated with nausea and vomiting after eating.5 In addition to that, Dr. Tim Kenny on Patient.info says that some women find that smells of certain foods can trigger nausea and vomiting.6

If you are bothered with morning sickness during pregnancy, or you find that certain foods leave you with a queasy stomach and wanting to throw up, please read my article on the best natural remedies to stop vomiting.

Gallstones

A buildup of hardened digestive fluid in the gallbladder, or gallstones, can leave you feelings sick after eating. Gallstones are a very common condition and if they cause pain and discomfort, doctors usually recommend removing the gallbladder.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the most common symptoms of gallstones are an upper abdominal pain, which is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. They say that the symptoms often occur after having a meal.7

Drinking lemon water regularly is one way to help dissolve gallstones and cleanse the liver.

Acid reflux / heartburn

If you have a burning sensation in your stomach or chest and nausea after eating, it could be a symptom of heartburn. Heartburn happens when acid from your stomach escapes back up your esophagus and causes irritation and a burning feeling. This is called acid reflux. You also need to be aware that acid reflux can cause other symptoms such as a feeling of something stuck in the throat, or a bitter tastes in mouth. Acid reflux can also cause a sore throat and a chronic dry cough. Some people who suffer from acid reflux say that they have a constant odd cold feeling in throat.

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Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD says that acid reflux can cause dyspepsia or indigestion. This is a general term for stomach discomfort and it causes nausea after eating, burping, bloating, and upper abdominal pain.8

To prevent heartburn and the feeling of nausea that could follow a meal, drink some aloe vera juice before your meal. You should drink 1/4 cup aloe vera juice about 20 minutes before consuming your meal to prevent the symptoms of heartburn and the feeling of nausea after eating.

If acid reflux is the cause of the nausea after eating, you’ll also need to address its causes. Try to use a food diary to see if certain foods trigger the acid reflux and the feeling of wanting to throw up after eating. You can also try an elimination diet such as the low FODMAP diet for treating reflux.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Some people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have feelings of wanting to throw up after eating certain foods. IBS is a complicated condition to manage and can interfere with your digestive system. It causes diarrhea, bloating, abdominal cramps, and constipation.

Researchers from the Harvard Medical School found that IBS can cause digestive problems that make it difficult for the body to digest some foods. This can cause nausea, gas, heartburn, and cramping after eating these foods. For example, they say that consuming dairy products containing lactose can cause nausea and cramping as soon as 30 minutes after eating.9

I have already written about many natural ways to relieve symptoms of IBS on this website and you can find useful information in my articles. One of the most effective natural remedies is taking peppermint oil enteric-coated capsules.

Anxiety

During times of heightened anxiety, you may feel nauseous after eating a meal. Stress can play havoc with your digestive system and it can aggravate other underlying health conditions like ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, both of which can cause a feeling of nausea after eating.

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A study published in the journal Cell and Tissue Research found that psychological stress can have a severe impact on your gastrointestinal function.10 This, of course, can cause nausea at any time but an upset stomach caused by stress can occur after eating. Also, a study on the effects of stress and the gut found that certain dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol, can cause symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in some people after consuming them.11

Learn how to manage anxiety and stress here.

Indigestion

Indigestion can be caused by having too much acid in your stomach, being overweight, pregnancy, or taking certain medications. If you have indigestion you will usually feel sick after eating a meal.

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom says that along with feeling nauseous after a meal, indigestion causes bloating, gas, and acid reflux. You also might not always have these symptoms immediately after finishing your meal. It could take some time after eating food that the symptoms of indigestion occur.12

Changing your eating habits is one of the natural ways to manage indigestion better. Try to eat in a relaxed environment and always chew your food well before swallowing.

Food allergies

One of the many symptoms of having a food allergy is feeling like you want to vomit after eating. Food allergies and intolerance to certain foods can affect people in different ways. Apart from nausea, they can cause hives, eczema, and digestive problems.

The World Allergy Organization states that a food allergy or intolerance can cause cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea immediately after eating food. Sometimes, the symptoms could take up to 2 hours after eating the offending food.13

Effects of chemotherapy treatment

Chemotherapy treatment can induce persistent and frequent vomiting. It can be difficult if you are going through chemotherapy to keep food down and not feel nauseous after eating.

Dr. Jennifer Robinson on WebMD provides some helpful tips to help alleviate feelings of nausea and vomiting after eating.14 Some of these are:

  • Eat foods that are at room temperature because the smell of hot foods can make your nausea worse.
  • Avoid drinking beverages with your meal.
  • Eat food when you feel less nauseous.
  • Chew your food properly and eat slowly to prevent feeling nauseated after eating.
  • Avoid foods that are hard to digest, like spicy, fatty, and creamy foods.

When to See a Doctor

Feeling nauseous after eating a meal isn’t usually a symptom of a serious medical emergency. However, sometimes nausea can be a sign of a serious condition if it’s accompanied by these symptoms:15

  • Chest pains.
  • Severe abdominal cramping.
  • Dizziness and or fainting.
  • High fever and a stiff neck.
  • Vomiting blood or is green in color.

Read these related articles:

Resources:

  1. MayoClinic. Food poisoning. Symptoms.
  2. PatientInfo. Gastroenteritis in adults.
  3. WebMD. Gastritis.
  4. MUSCHealth. What is gastritis?
  5. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2011 Jun; 40(2): 309–vii.
  6. PatientInfo. Morning sickness in pregnancy.
  7. ClevelandClinic. Gallbladder and biliary tract disease.
  8. WebMD. Acid reflux symptoms.
  9. PatientEducationCenter. Irritable bowel syndrome.
  10. Cell Tissue Res. 2011 Jan;343(1):23-32.
  11. J Phys Pharm. 2011, 62, 6, 591-599
  12. NHS. Indigestion.
  13. WorldAllergy. Food allergy.
  14. WebMD. Coping with chemotherapy and nausea.
  15. MayoClinic. Nausea and vomiting.
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3 Responses to Here’s Why You Suffer From Nausea After Eating and How to Stop It

  1. Bob Canida says:

    Under the indigestion and heartburn and acid reflux headings, I would disagree that it is from too much acid. From what I have been taught,experienced, and articles I have read have made a good case for adding more betaine hydrochloric acid to the stomach. If an hour or so after you have eaten, your stomach is still churning and regurgitating, it seems rational that you have not enough digestive power, and need more acid—not less. This has always proven true with me. Several years ago there was a study/article published in the AMA journal stating that people over age 50 have less HCl, and lose that effective acidic barrier in the stomach, and get more pneumonias. I would suggest searching out the opposite perspective that touts more HCl for better digestion, and less heartburn and regurgitation.

  2. Shannon Macri says:

    I just keep eating when I feel sick after a meal. I’m a dam pig! Ice cream seems to make my sour stomach better after I’ve eaten a butt load of food.

  3. William M Durham says:

    Have it seems permanent gastritis an overtime I eat within a few hours even if I am asleep I wake up with that I am going to puke feeling, I get up an eat something an I am good for about 4 hours then it all starts again. Despite seeing several doctors, even a stomach specialist who conducted every test know to man, and some I never heard of an found only gastritis and gave me a few pills I could buy over the counter and said that was all he could do. Really feel screwed. anyone with ideas I would welcome them

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