Nausea is the uncomfortable feeling we often get that precedes vomiting though often it is possible to have feelings of nausea without vomiting and might involve feeling light headed, getting stomach ache and feeling unsettled in your stomach. In some cases it might even cause loss of balance and the excess production of saliva. Nausea following consumption of food is a common eating disorder and can occur immediately after eating or a while after.
There are many causes of nausea after eating and here we will look at what some of those causes are and how you can help to minimise their effects.
It is possible that your nausea after eating could be caused by an allergic reaction to some kind of food. Even if it seems like you are nauseous after ever meal this should not rule out the possibility that it is caused by an allergy as it could be that you are allergic to something such as wheat or dairy products and these would have a high chance of being in many different meals. It is also possible to develop allergies at any stage in your life so the fact that you haven’t had the problem before doesn’t necessarily mean this isn’t the cause either. If you do have a food allergy then it’s common to notice hives on your body too.
In some cases the feelings of nausea after eating can be mostly psychological. Perhaps you started with problems and it’s then become something that you think about after meals. Sometimes the very act of worrying that you might be sick can actually make you sick.
There are other psychological causes of nausea after eating. For instance if you have ever suffered with bulimia then you may have become used to vomiting after eating. This can then become a conditional response so that your body sees eating as a cue to be sick. Seeing a cognitive behavioural therapist in either case can help you to change the way you think about eating, address any regular concerns, and help you to lose negative associations.
A range of indigestion problems can cause you to feel sick after eating and this can be caused by the stomach acids that are supposed to break up your food being brought up in your throat. If you feel as though you have heart burn coupled with nausea, then indigestion is a likely culprit. Eating more slowly can help you to avoid indigestion, as can avoiding certain foods and taking medication such as Gaviscon.
If you starve yourself for too long between meals, then when you come around to eaten then you’ll find that you feel sick when you finally do get to eat. If you haven’t eaten in a long time then it’s important to eat slowly when you come around to doing it.
Pregnancy can cause a range of confusing symptoms including nausea after eating (coupled with an increased appetite this is an unusual combination). If you are showing other signs of pregnancy such as weight gain, morning sickness and lack of menstruation then you should take a pregnancy test to ascertain whether this is the case.
Viral gastroenteritis also known as gastric flu is a viral infection causing an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and stomach lining that can cause a range of stomach problems including nausea and diarrhoea.
Feeling ill after eating is a common sign of many types of food poisoning, some of which can be serious. If your problem continues then it is important to seek medical attention.
Another good reason to see a doctor if you feel nauseous after eating is that it could be appendicitis. If you notice the pain is coming from the lower right of the stomach then you should see a doctor immediately – appendicitis can cause your appendix to rupture within 24 hours if you don’t get seen to.
If the stomach pain is higher up and you have particular difficulty with greasy food then gallstones is another possibility.
Again a more serious cause for nausea after eating is gastric cancer or stomach cancer. Don’t be too worries as this is one of the less common causes of nausea after eating, and incidence of stomach cancer has fallen over the last few years. It is more common in men of advanced years. Look out for weight loss and blood in the stool.