Why Am I Constantly Nauseated & What Can I Do About It?

Topic Overview

Nausea is an annoying feeling in which a person feels as if he or she is about to vomit. This happens to everyone every now and then.

Overeating or indigestion is the most common causes of nausea. Nausea can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. In this scenario, the affected person will always feel nauseated even though they may not vomit anything. Certain medications also have a side effect profile of nausea. If a person is constantly feeling nauseated then it is best to consult with a physician and get tests done to identify the cause of it.[1, 2]

Nausea is quite common but has all the attributes to spoil a perfect day for anyone. Feeling constantly nauseated indicates that something more than just a stomach problem is at play here. According to Dr. Ayo Moses, family physician at Care Mount medical, New York, causes of constantly feeling nauseated can be quite extensive. However, it is recommended that a person should see a physician if the nausea lasts for more than two days or more.[1, 2]

It is imperative to go to the nearest emergency room if nausea is accompanied by chest pain, vision disturbance, coffee ground emesis, black tarry stools, or fever of more than 101 degree.[1, 2] The article below highlights some of the potential causes of constant nausea and what to do about it.

Why Am I Constantly Nauseated?

Nausea as stated is not a medical condition but is rather a symptom of it. Nausea can be described as a feeling of uneasiness in the stomach, having a sense of feeling sick, or even upset stomach. It is at times followed by vomiting. People who are constantly nauseated also additionally will experience increased saliva, giddiness, problems with swallowing, and increased heartbeat. Experts are of the opinion that acute nausea lasts for at a month and chronic nausea goes on for well beyond a month of time frame.[2]

To diagnose the cause of the constant nausea, the physician may ask the time as to when the symptoms began. They might also ask as to whether the feeling of nausea waxes and wanes and the timeframe of each episode. They might also ask whether they experience any other symptoms along with nausea and whether there is any vomiting. Based on the inputs provided by the patient, the physician can come to conclusion as to what might be causing the persistent nausea.[2]

However, the most potential causes for persistent nausea include:

Pregnancy: Persistent nausea is quite a common symptom of pregnancy. It normally starts in the first trimester at around 9 weeks. Most of the females however refer to this feeling as more of morning sickness than pure nausea and vomiting. The nausea caused by pregnancy does not affect the baby in any way but it definitely interferes with the daily life of the mother. The nausea typically lasts for a few hours and often at times end up with vomiting.[2]

Some females have severe nausea due to pregnancy. This is a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Sometimes, the female even has to be admitted to the hospital due to nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy. It can at times also cause dehydration due to excessive loss of fluids. Some experts believe that physicians treating females for excessive nausea and vomiting should visit pregnancy as a possible cause.[2]

Gastroparesis: This is also one of the common causes for a person feeling constantly nauseous. Gastroparesis occurs when the food that is ingested is not completely digested and emptied into the small intestine. Abdominal pain and early satiety is the most common symptom of gastroparesis. The persistent nausea that occurs with Gastroparesis also sometimes causes vomiting, especially after eating meals.[2]

Bowel Obstruction: This occurs when the intestine gets obstructed or blocked, either partially or completely. When this happens, the food is not able to pass through the intestine thus blocking the entire digestive system. This is what causes persistent nausea followed by vomiting and abdominal pain[2]

Other Causes of Feeling Constantly Nauseated: There are also certain other medical conditions that also cause a person to have persistent nausea. These conditions include GERD, dyspepsia, and peptic ulcer. However, all these conditions only have persistent nausea as just one of their many symptoms. Additionally, people with anxiety disorder, depression, and eating disorders also tend to have persistent nausea[2]

There are also certain neurological conditions that cause persistent nausea like migraines, demyelinating conditions, and seizure disorder. Certain medications also have a side effect of causing persistent nausea and vomiting. Antibiotics, antivirals, hormonal medications, anticonvulsants, opioids, and cardiovascular medicines all have a potential side effect of causing persistent nausea. The nausea caused by medications at times gets so severe that people often are forced to stop them.[2]

Persistent nausea has also been associated with cancer. The American Cancer Society mentions that cancers of the digestive system or of the brain that controls and monitors digestion can cause persistent nausea. Some of the other symptoms of cancer include loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, frequent stomach pain, fatigue, and early satiety. If someone has these symptoms along with being constantly nauseated then it is recommended to consult with a physician to rule out cancer as a potential cause.[2]

Treatments for certain form of cancer, especially where chemotherapy is involved, also can make a person constantly nauseous. It is best consult with the physician before starting any form of cancer treatment and discuss about whether the medications will cause nausea and vomiting and seek alternatives for such[2]

What Can I Do For Constant Nausea?

Once a cause for the persistent nausea is determined, the physician will formulate the best treatment plan for the patient. Antiemetic medications are the frontline choice of doctors for putting a break on persistent nausea. This will prevent the patient from repeated vomiting episodes. If a patient with persistent nausea and vomiting has dehydration then electrolytes will have to be given either as an inpatient or outpatient[2]

There are also certain home remedies that are quite effective in managing persistent nausea. These include:

Ginger: Research suggests that taking about 250 mg of powdered ginger root before meals and at bedtime is extremely effective for pregnancy induced nausea. This needs to be taken every 6 hours to about 1000 mg every day for the entire duration of the pregnancy or till the time the nausea is controlled[2]

Ginger is also extremely effective for people having persistent nausea due to chemotherapy. However, some studies have shown mixed results with people having no effect of ginger on their nausea induced by chemotherapy [2]

Peppermint: This is also quite an effective means of controlling persistent nausea. According to the Journal of Holistic Nursing, peppermint essential oil is extremely effective for postoperative nausea. This was seen mostly in females who had a C-section for delivery of their child[2]

Even though the sample size of the study was small, it was clearly seen that inhaling peppermint was quite helpful in controlling nausea in postoperative patients. However, more studies need to be done to be definitive about thus observation[2]

In conclusion, persistent nausea is not a medical condition but is rather a symptom of something else going on inside the body. It can happen due to numerous reasons as elaborated above in the article. Pregnancy is by far the most common cause of persistent nausea. However, gastrointestinal obstruction and gastroparesis are some of the causes of it. Persistent nausea is also a sign of cancer in some people[1, 2]

Thus experts recommend a thorough checkup of people who constantly feel nauseated to get to the bottom of the cause and prescribe treatment for it, as antiemetic drugs only help control the nausea and do not eradicate the root cause of it[1, 2]

Immediate medical attention is needed for people who have other symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath aside from feeling nauseous as it is a sign of something more sinister. Medical checkup is also required if someone has persistent nausea along with early satiety, unintentional weight loss, and frequent pain in the stomach as it may be a sign of cancer[1, 2]

Antiemetics and anti-nausea medications are frontline treatment for persistent nausea. However, depending on the cause, the physician may prescribe treatment that is best suited to control the constant feeling of being nauseated[1, 2]

References:

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