Nausea is the feeling that you are soon going to throw up! Your salivary secretions increase, you feel heaviness in your chest and throat, and you feel like throwing up. We all feel uncomfortable when we are sick, and nausea goes a notch higher in making us feel terrible. Not all types of nausea result in vomiting, but vomiting is often preceded by nausea. Recurring nausea is often a sign of a serious malady such as hepatitis, gastritis, ulcer, and stomach flu and may need a consultation by a doctor.
Here are a few things that can help relieve nausea fast:
- Ginger is known to relieve nausea. Research has shown capsules of powdered ginger effective in reducing nausea and vomiting. You can also try a cup of ginger tea, a few gingersnap cookies, or a piece of ginger candy.
- Chew on fresh mint leaves or drink a cup of mint tea. The refreshing aroma can also make you feel better.
- A sip of chilled water, or better a lime soda, can often help relieve nausea due to acid reflux.
- Smell lemon or suck on a lemon to stop the feeling of nausea.
- Acupressure, ancient healing art in traditional Chinese medicine, is also effective in relieving nausea and vomiting (especially during pregnancy and due to chemotherapy [cancer treatments]). It involves applying pressure on some points in the body. Here is how to use acupressure to get rid of nausea:
- Position your palm such that it faces toward the ceiling or the sky. Locate the two hard bands of tissue known as tendons that run just below your wrist in the line of your index finger. This is referred to as a P-6 pressure point.
- Press gently with the thumb of the opposite hand in a circling manner on the P-6 point for 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat the process on your other wrist.
- Inhalation of aromatherapy oils such as peppermint oil has been found to work in reducing the severity of nausea after surgeries. You can put a few drops of this oil in your hanky or a cotton cloth and try inhaling it when you feel nauseating.
- Try over-the-counter medications:
- Antacid: Pepto-Bismol syrup may help with nausea.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamine medications such as dimenhydrinate and meclizine hydrochloride can help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.
- Breathe fresh air works for many people, but the reason remains unknown. You can open the window or sit in front of a fan to get rid of nausea.
- Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques such as muscle relaxation techniques may also be helpful. This helps in moving your mind away from any worries that can aggravate nausea and cause you to vomit. This technique helps, particularly in motion sickness.
- Distract yourself from nausea by calling up a friend, catching up on a movie, or performing any other light activity.
If you suffer from motion sickness, you can prevent related nausea by following a few important things that include:
- Eat only light, bland foods, such as crackers or plain bread. These foods rich in starch help absorb gastric acid and settle a queasy stomach.
- Observe which foods worsen your nausea and avoid those. These can be any fruit, vegetable, or any food preparation that upsets your stomach.
- Drink water, sports drinks, or chicken or vegetable soups. Avoid juices and soft drinks. Small sips of fluid throughout the day will hydrate you without triggering nausea.
- Avoid eating fried, too oily, or greasy foods
- Limit the consumption of sweets
- Eat small meals and eat them slowly
- Do not lie down immediately after meals. You can rest a while with your head elevated. Avoid heavy activities after eating such as lifting weights, cycling, or jogging.
- If you suffer from motion sickness, avoid activities that require intense focus while traveling. This can include reading a book or any stuff on digital screens (such as smartphones).
- A medication known as promethazine if taken at least half an hour before the start of your journey can help prevent motion sickness-associated nausea. Because it is available only on a doctor’s prescription, ask your doctor if you can take it.
If your nausea persists and interferes with your personal, professional, and social life, you should seek additional advice from your doctor.
Digestive Disorders Resources
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Understanding Nausea and Vomiting – Treatment. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-nausea-vomiting-treatment
Belluomini J, et al. Acupressure for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, blinded study. Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Aug;84(2):245-8.
Lua PL, Zakaria NS. A brief review of current scientific evidence involving aromatherapy use for nausea and vomiting. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2012 Jun 1;18(6):534-40.