Nausea can be triggered by the effects of stress. Under the supervision of a doctor, we will explain in detail the causes of unpleasant digestive symptoms such as feeling sick, heartburn, and stomach pain, possible diseases, and how to deal with them. Treat your symptoms before they get worse.
Table of contents
- Why Does Stress Cause Nausea? What is the cause?
- Disorders or causes that cause nausea
- Remedy to improve nausea
- Deal with stress before it gets worse
Why Does Stress Cause Nausea? What is the cause?
When the stomach contracts strongly, the contents of the stomach are pushed up and come out of the mouth, which is called vomiting. It is also called nausea.
Nausea and vomiting occur when the vomiting reflex center in the brain is stimulated for some reason. In addition, nausea may also occur due to the shaking of the vehicle (motion sickness), side effects of medicine, and hyperemesis in early pregnancy (morning sickness).
Nausea caused by stress is considered to be a major cause of “disturbance of the autonomic nervous system” and “disturbance of eating habits”.
disturbance of the autonomic nervous system
Stress is deeply related to the functioning of the body, and if you continue to endure stress, various adverse effects may occur on your mind, body, and behavior.
Stress disrupts the balance of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates body functions. When the autonomic nervous system is disturbed, the vomiting reflex center is stimulated, resulting in hyperacidity and nausea.
Normally, the inside of the stomach is protected by the gastric mucosa, but excessive gastric acid damages the gastric mucosa, which can lead to gastric ulcers and acute gastritis.
Also, the disturbance of the autonomic nerve is also connected to gastrointestinal malfunction. Poor gastrointestinal function can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation.
If the following symptoms are seen in addition to nausea and gastrointestinal upset, there is a possibility of autonomic imbalance . Dysautonomia is more common in women than in men, and is a disease that causes various physical disorders.
- Palpitations/shortness of breath
- headache etc.
disordered eating habits
Excessive stress can lead to overeating, overdrinking and loss of appetite. Stress can disrupt your eating habits, and if you overeat or overeat, your stomach may become inflamed and you may feel nauseous.
Disorders or causes that cause nausea
Here are some diseases and causes that cause nausea.
Food poisoning/viral gastroenteritis
When food poisoning or viral gastroenteritis occurs, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever can be seen due to the effects of bacteria and viruses. If you vomit immediately and can’t drink water, you may be dehydrated, so let’s see a doctor early.
Trying to force yourself to eat can make things worse, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Reflux esophagitis is a disease in which gastric acid refluxes into the esophagus, causing inflammation of the esophageal mucosa. Symptoms include chronic nausea, chest pain, and sore throat.
Aging, drinking alcohol, smoking, westernization of eating habits, etc. are said to be the causes of reflux esophagitis, which can be diagnosed accurately by gastroscopy.
too much stomach acid
Hyperacidity is a condition in which the stomach produces more acid than it needs. Gastric acid is secreted even when there is no food in the stomach, causing symptoms such as stomach pain, heartburn, heavy stomach, nausea, and belching.
Gastric and duodenal ulcers are conditions in which the mucous membrane of the stomach and duodenum is inflamed and deeply injured. In addition to nausea and vomiting, heartburn and abdominal pain may also occur.
As the disease progresses, bleeding from the ulcer may result in melena. Other possible causes include stress, overeating or drinking, infection with Helicobacter pylori, and the effects of drugs such as pain relievers.
In the case of gastric ulcer, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are likely to occur during or after meals, and in the case of duodenum, on an empty stomach or at night.
Constipation/intestinal obstruction (ileus)
If you experience not only nausea but also bloating (abdominal bloating), you may have constipation. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain occur when stool and gas are not discharged and remain in the intestines.
Possible causes of intestinal obstruction (ileus) include hernia, paralysis of intestinal function, and adhesions due to abdominal surgery. Fecal impaction can also cause intestinal obstruction, although this is rare.
drug side effects
Some drugs have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. If you are taking medication, tell your doctor what you are taking.
If a drug is causing nausea, the dose of the drug may be reduced, stopped, or changed to another drug.
Functional dyspepsia with unknown cause
If you have nausea, we will ask you about the degree of nausea, the timing and frequency of nausea, other symptoms, etc., and investigate the cause by selecting blood tests, gastroscopy, ultrasound, blood tests, etc. as necessary. .
However, there are cases in which no abnormalities are found on endoscopy despite chronic nausea, heavy stomach, and stomach pain. If the cause is unknown, it is diagnosed as “functional dyspepsia”.
Functional dyspepsia is thought to be caused by a complex combination of various causes, including stress, lifestyle/dietary disorders, hypersensitivity of the stomach and duodenum, and impaired motor function.
If you are diagnosed with functional dyspepsia, you can treat it with lifestyle and dietary changes and medication.
As with functional dyspepsia, nausea may also occur in the case of “irritable bowel syndrome,” which causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation, although no abnormalities are seen on examination.
Remedy to improve nausea
Here are some ways to treat and prevent nausea.
Don’t force yourself to eat or keep your mouth dry
Don’t force yourself to eat when you’re feeling nauseous. Eating can make you feel even more nauseous, so wait until you feel better before eating something soft.
Also, if your mouth is dry, nausea will be stronger, so rinse your mouth and drink water frequently.
Improve your eating habits and diet
What you eat and how you eat it affects your digestive system. If you’re experiencing nausea due to stress, change your diet and what you eat.
- reduce the size of one meal
- Avoid fatty foods and foods high in fiber
- Eat foods that are easy to digest and palatable
- Don’t eat fast, chew well and eat slowly
- Eat 3 meals a day, preferably at the same time
- Avoid foods with strong odors such as garlic, chives, and spices
When you have nausea, it is important not to eat as usual, but to have a meal that does not burden your stomach and intestines. Cut the ingredients into small pieces and use cooking methods that use less oil, such as simmering or steaming.
If you feel nauseous and have no appetite but need something to eat, try eating foods that are smooth and go down smoothly, such as pudding, jelly, yogurt, tofu, steamed egg custard, somen noodles, and cold barley.
Foods that are good for digestion include:
- Staple food……Udon, rice porridge, bread
- Meat and fish: red meat, lean parts such as chicken fillet, white fish (sea bream, flounder, cod, etc.)
- Vegetables/fruits……pumpkin, potato, Chinese cabbage, spinach, banana, apple
- Others: milk, yogurt, eggs, natto, tofu
Avoid irritants if you have nausea, as they can overwhelm your digestive system.
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc.)
Alcohol affects almost every part of your digestive system, so it’s best to avoid alcohol when you’re nauseous. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks, can irritate your stomach and cause nausea. Consider drinking non-caffeinated tea or water.
Tobacco can reduce gastric blood flow and gastric function. Drinking and smoking habits are also considered to be one of the causes of functional dyspepsia, so refrain from smoking when you have nausea.
get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is important because not getting enough sleep or being overly tired can make you feel even more stressed.
Sleep time varies from person to person, so try to sleep with a feeling of sound sleep (feeling that you have slept soundly when you wake up) rather than time.
Press a point that is effective against nausea
If you have nausea due to stress or lifestyle habits, it is also recommended to press a pressure point called Ashisanri, which stops nausea and vomiting and regulates gastrointestinal function.
The foot sanri is located just below the kneecap, four finger widths from the outer hollow. Place your thumb on your feet and place the rest of your fingers on your calves.
Relieve stress in a way that works for you
If your nausea is caused by stress, it’s important to find a way to relieve stress that works for you. For example, here are some stress relief methods:
- take a deep breath
- I laugh a lot when I watch movies, books, etc.
- talk to someone close
- bask in the sun
- immerse yourself in a hobby
- sleep well etc.
If you’re too busy to find time, you can start with something as simple as opening the curtains, letting the sun shine in, or taking a deep breath.
distance yourself from the source of stress
If you can’t release stress well even if you do something to relieve stress, or if you are attacked by new stress, think about what is causing your stress and distance yourself from the cause of stress. Let’s also think about it.
Stress can be categorized mainly into the following factors:
- Social factors: being overwhelmed by work, having trouble with relationships, etc.
- Environmental factors: noise, weather, temperature, humidity, etc.
- Psychological factors……Concerns, anxieties, etc.
- Physical factors: poor physical condition, illness, lack of sleep, etc.
There are some worries that are difficult to manage on your own, but if you can leave, it is one way to consider keeping a distance. Moving away from the cause may reduce stress and improve nausea and stomach pain.
Take over-the-counter medicines and herbal medicines
Some over-the-counter medicines and Chinese herbal medicines can be expected to be effective for gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, and heavy stomach.
- Hangeshashinto, etc.
If you want to try over-the-counter medicines, you should consult a pharmacist at a drug store.
go to the hospital
If nausea does not go away, or if you have severe nausea and cannot eat, see a doctor.
In addition to nausea, if symptoms such as headache, numbness, and disturbance of consciousness are observed, it is necessary to see a hospital immediately, as it may be a highly urgent brain disease.
What kind of doctor should I go to if I have nausea?
If you have symptoms of nausea such as “feeling sick” or “feeling sick”, please consult an internal medicine doctor or a psychosomatic medicine doctor.
If you have gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach pain, loss of appetite, please see a doctor. In addition to nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms, if you feel depressed or anxious, you should consult a psychiatrist.
Deal with stress before it gets worse
When the autonomic nervous system is disturbed by stress, the vomiting reflex center may be stimulated, causing hyperacidity and nausea.
Excessive gastric acid secretion damages the gastric mucosa and can lead to gastric ulcers and acute gastritis, so take early action before your stomach becomes rough.
If your symptoms do not improve even after improving your eating habits and lifestyle, it is important to visit an internal medicine or psychosomatic medicine department, receive a diagnosis from a doctor, and receive appropriate treatment.