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Why Does Hunger Cause Nausea & How To Deal With The Hunger-Driven Nausea?

Why Does Hunger Cause Nausea?

An uncomfortable, nauseous feeling often follows the sensation of hunger.

It can be due to the acid build-up or stomach contraction caused by hunger pangs.

Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach to break down the food. Not eating for a long period of time can lead to acid build-up and acid reflux causing nausea.

Why Does Hunger Cause Nausea?

Hunger pangs can rarely be due to medical condition, they can be affected by:

Hormones generated by the endocrine system such as ghrelin and leptin, play a role in the flow of appetite.

Ghrelin causes hunger and leptin is released when the body signal that it is satisfied and it does not need to be hungry. The balance between these chemicals is disturbed when in spite of hunger signals you do not eat. The body may coax you by producing more ghrelin if you go long enough without eating.

If the signals are intense enough, it could be a body’s way of telling you that there is a need to be screened for metabolic syndrome.

How To Deal With The Hunger-Driven Nausea?

  • The first and foremost way to deal with hunger is to eat something.
  • If you have been controlling hunger for long, address the body’s nutritional needs gently.
  • You can drink low-sugar beverages
  • Brothy soups with proteins or carbohydrates
  • Protein-rich foods
  • Dried foods such as raisins, apricots, and dates

Extreme pain and nausea while hungry can be an indication of metabolic syndrome. The other accompanying symptoms can be:

If you feel nausea when hungry, try eating at short intervals. Eating a small amount of food at shorter intervals can be helpful in preventing nausea.

If Not Hunger, Then What Could Be A Reason For Nausea?

If nausea is not due to hunger, the following factors can be thought of:

Dehydration: If you feel nausea if you are not hungry, chances are high that you might be dehydrated.

  • Try drinking water to see if it helps.
  • If along with nausea you are feeling extremely fatigued, dehydrated, and dizzy or confused, you might be severely dehydrated.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms of severe dehydration crop up.

Medication: Taking medications on empty stomach can bring in a feeling of nausea.

Medications that can lead to nausea as a side effect include:(1)

Over The Counter Medication

Certain over the counter prescription medications such as vitamin E, vitamin C, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, if taken empty stomach can lead to nausea.

Other Causes Of Nausea

There are other causes which can lead to nausea, such as:

Some people can get nausea if they do not eat for an extended period of time. To avoid this discomfort, eat small quantities of food at frequent intervals.

If still the nausea does not improve consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 4, 2020

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