Nausea is uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily life, but it’s often possible to prevent it with some careful planning. Change your diet, so that you are eating small meals throughout the day. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of clear liquids. If you feel a wave of nausea coming on, wipe down your face with a cool cloth or lie down. If your nausea is severe, reaching out to your doctor for advice can also be helpful.
EditAdapting Your Eating and Drinking Practices
- Eat small meals and snacks over the day. Consuming large, heavy meals can trigger nausea, as your body struggles to process all that food. Instead, try eating small meals and snacks every 4 hours over the day. You can even eat a high-protein snack right before bedtime to help you sleep more soundly.
- Stay within your daily calorie range when you snack. Snacks don’t need to be high-calorie to be filling. Cheese, crackers, crudité, and yogurt are all great snacking choices.
- Go slowly when eating. Eating a meal fast can upset your stomach and result in nausea. To fight this off, make sure to thoroughly chew each bite of food. Set your silverware down in between bites. It also helps to take a drink of water in between bites.
- If you find yourself fighting off heartburn and indigestion right after meals, fast eating may be the problem.
- Keep your food at room temperature. Chill your foods in the fridge before eating them or place your food on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Sometimes warm or hot foods can emit strong odors that can create nausea.
- Hot meals don’t cause nausea, but sometimes strong smells can. If you have a sensitive nose, try letting your food cool a little before eating it.
- Suck on candy. Buy a bag of ginger or lemon hard candy or mints. When you start to feel nauseous, take out a piece of candy, smell it deeply, and then pop it into your mouth. Suck on the candy until it’s gone and you feel better.
- Experiment with which candy flavors work the best for you. Ginger can be more soothing than lemon or mint.
- Sucking on a candy also distracts your body and mind from the feelings of nausea.
- Drink small amounts of clear liquids. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated when you are suffering from nausea or vomiting. Sip on cool, clear beverages throughout the day, such as teas or carbonated waters. You can also try fruit juices, except orange or grapefruit as they can cause stomach upset.
- Another way to get hydrated is to suck on popsicles or eat cold gelatin. While these contain only small amounts of fluids, these are a good way to maintain fluid intake when you’re feeling unwell.
- In total, you should aim for 8 full glasses of fluids each day.
- Sip some meadowsweet tea. Get some dried meadowsweet herb from your local natural grocery store. This sweet wildflower can help reduce nausea by settling your stomach when used in tea. Pour boiling water into a tea cup. Stir in of dried meadowsweet and let the mixture steep for 5-10 minutes. Take small sips as the tea cools.
- You can also add a pinch of dried rosemary to your tea.
EditCounteracting Nausea in Daily Life
- Stay still. If you start to feel nauseous while walking or working out, find a spot where you can sit down for a moment. If you are on the floor, angle your knees and place your head between them. Doing this quickly can help your nausea from escalating to vomiting. Don’t move until you feel completely better.
- Wash your face with a cool, clean cloth. Get a washcloth and hold it under cold water until it is soaked. Wring it out and then place it across your forehead or neck. Keep it in position until it warms up. Re-wet it again, if needed. The cold feeling will help to lower your heart rate and calm your digestive system.
- Distract yourself with TV or music. Sometimes it’s important to just get your mind off how crummy you may be feeling. Put some earbuds in and listen to relaxing music. Turn on a favorite TV program and focus on what is happening on the screen. You can also pick up a good book and get lost in a story.
- Identify and avoid trigger odors. Strong scents from candles, perfumes, new cars or furniture, and even food can cause bouts of nausea. When you begin to feel nauseous, pay attention to your surroundings. Ask yourself if you are smelling anything unusual or overpowering. Then, do your best to get away from that smell and avoid it in the future.
- Face forward when riding in a car. When you ride facing backwards in a car or train, watching the motion out of the windows can make you feel dizzy or nauseous. Generally, facing forwards and limiting your time glancing out the side windows is best.
- Let someone know if your nausea doesn’t abate. Tell a friend or family member if you’re feeling unwell. In the unlikely event your sickness escalates and you need medical help, they will be aware of your situation and can get help for you.
EditTaking a Medical Approach
- Talk with your doctor if nausea lasts more than a week. It’s normal for people to have short bouts of nausea. However, if your nausea lingers for days on end and increases in severity, then it’s best to make a doctor’s appointment. This is particularly important if your nausea is paired with vomiting, could have been caused by an injury, or if you might be pregnant.
- Treat any underlying medical conditions. Nausea is not a disease itself, but quite often a symptom of a larger problem. Work with your doctor to determine how your nausea is connected to your overall health and how to treat it. Nausea can be linked to foodborne illnesses, ulcers, kidney disorders, cancer, migraines, motion sickness, and concussions, among other issues.
- Keep an eye on your bowel movements for regularity. If you’re not voiding regularly, you may feel an underlying nausea. Your doctor can advise how frequently you should be using the bathroom.
- You may also feel nauseous when fighting off a stomach bug, cold, or flu.
- Take anti-nausea medication. If your nausea is interfering in your daily life or causing a health problem, then your doctor may suggest taking medication to calm your stomach down throughout the day. These drugs may be in pill or liquid form or might need to be injected. You’ll want to follow any dosage instructions carefully and take them at pre-set times of the day or at the first signs of nausea.
- Dolasetron, Dexamethasone, and Aprepitant are all common anti-nausea medications available with a prescription. You can also purchase over-the-counter medications, such as Emetrol.
- Most of these medications can help ease vomiting caused by nausea, but they may not resolve the underlying nausea itself.
- Test out an alternate formula of any medications. If you are taking a medication for another medical condition, then it may be causing at least some of your nausea. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of switching to a similar medication that is less likely to cause digestive upset. Try to be patient as you may need to test out a few different options to find what works best.
- Sometimes even switching from a tablet to a liquid version of a medication can have a big positive impact.
- Go to an acupuncturist. When you visit an acupuncturist they will use a series of long, thin needles to apply pressure to various places on your body. Stimulating your pressure points can help to relieve nausea, especially for adults. Make a few appointments and see how you feel afterwards to determine if this might be a good option for you.
- It sometimes helps to keep a diary of when your nausea hits and how fast is goes away. You might notice that you feel particularly unwell at certain times of the day.
- Sometimes anxiety due to changes in your routines or job can cause nausea. If this is the case, talk to your doctor about strategies for combating your anxiety. Getting your nerves under control can help you feel less nauseous.
- See your doctor for persistent nausea that will not let up.
- Avoid drinking alcohol when you feel nauseous, as this can make it even worse. It can also cause dehydration if you end up vomiting.