Symptoms and tricks

How to manage Nausea and Vomiting

March 12, 2018 admin

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Easy ways to manage nausea and vomiting

How to manage Nausea and Vomiting

There is nothing worse than having an upset stomach with nausea and vomiting. Picture this, you are kneeling on the cold bathroom floor with your head hanging over the opened toilet. Maybe just waiting to vomit but never producing results. Knowing if you could just vomit you would feel so much better. Or you are leaned over that toilet vomiting, your body heaving as your stomach pushes out all the contents out of your mouth until it is just the yellow nasty tasting stomach acid. Wouldn’t you give just about anything to not have those feelings or experiences? I know I would.

I want to expand your knowledge by teaching you about nausea and vomiting. First of all, what causes nausea and vomiting. Then how to treat yourself or loved one. Since knowing the why and how it will make dealing with nausea or vomiting much easier.

What is nausea?

Nausea is the feeling you get in your stomach before vomiting.

What is vomiting?

Vomiting is expelling the contents of the stomach through the mouth.

Reasons that can cause Nausea and Vomiting:

  • Pregnancy
    • This is due to the hormonal imbalance. Some people will only experience nausea when pregnant. While others will experience both nausea and vomiting. The common description for this is “Morning Sickness”. I was blessed to only have it for the first few months of my pregnancy. However, many people do experience it throughout their entire pregnancy. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wife to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, had so much nausea and vomiting in her first pregnancy that she started to lose weight. The extreme vomiting (known as Hyperemesis Gravidarm) caused her malnutrition and dehydration causing her to be hospitalized with IV fluids.
  • Medications
    • While medications can help with many elements. Those same great medications can cause side effects including nausea and/or vomiting.
    • Due to, taking medications on an empty stomach, nausea and vomiting can occur.
    • Antibiotics and non-steroidal medications such as Aleve or Ibuprofen can be strong in the stomach causing irritations.
  • Cancer
    • Some types of cancer, like a brain tumor, can cause nausea and vomiting
  • Cancer Treatments
    • As medicine advances hopefully, there will be an advancement with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a strong medication that is designed to kill all the cancer cells in your body. Consequently, it also kills the good cells. Due to this strong therapy, it is very common to have some nausea and vomiting.
  • Migraines
    • Oh, I could write an entire blog about migraines. I suffer from these along with my sisters. Migraines are hereditary. Yet, they are also caused by many factors including diet, caffeine, stress, lack of sleep and change in pressure.
  • Virus/Illness
    • “Stomach bug” that is the term many people use for an illness causing an upset stomach.
    • Food poisoning causes nausea and vomiting for about 24 hours. This is when you consume foods that have contaminants in them such as bacteria, viruses or toxins. About 3,000 people die from food poisoning each year.
  • Diabetes
    • It seems this disease affects the entire body in every way. When the body produces ketones (results from your body burning muscle), these can cause nausea and vomiting. This is often referred to Diabetic Ketoacidosis.
  • Anxiety
    • When having high anxiety or panic attacks this causes the nerves of the body to be on high alert. This results in making the stomach on the edge which can cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Chronic pain
    • Any type of pain, if intense enough can cause nausea and sometimes vomit.
  • Drinking too much alcohol
    • Also called being hungover.
  • Appendicitis
    • The appendix is a body part that I just can not figure out. It performs no function and you can live without it. These can randomly become infected resulting in pain with nausea and vomiting.
  • Gallbladder disease
    • When the gallbladder quits working properly and becomes infected, nausea and vomiting will occur.
  • Seasickness
    • Can also be called “motion sickness”.
    • The motion of the boat (small or big) can cause nausea that can result in vomiting.
    • Flying in a plane can cause this for some people.
  • Hunger
    • Being hungry can cause the feeling of nausea. Once able to eat nausea will go away. I personally must eat about every 3 hours or I will become nauseated.
  • Stress
    • Just as with anxiety stress can cause the stomach nerves to be working overtime. Stress can reduce your bodies ability to fight off illness. Resulting in you getting sick more often and taking longer to recover from the illness.

Harmful results from nausea and vomiting:

  • Dehydration
    • Signs of dehydration: dry lips, sunken eyes, dry mouth, increase in breathing, shortness of breath and increase heart rate.
  • Mallory Weiss Tear
    • This is caused by constant vomiting.
    • Resulting in a tear of the esophagus.
    • This is a medical emergency and you need to seek medical treatment from a doctor.
    • Common in alcoholics and those with bulimia nervosa (binge eating then purging causing themselves to vomit).
  • Other serious medical issues that need to be addressed by medical professionals
    • If you are vomiting for more than 24 hours you should seek out further medical attention.
    • If there is blood in your vomit you should seek medical treatment immediately.
    • Nausea and vomiting can be indicators that something is wrong, and you need more treatments.
      • Examples: appendicitis, gallbladder, concussion, tumor.
    • Malnutrition
      • Signs of malnutrition: brittle nails, tooth decay, fatigue, dizziness, weight loss.

Ways to prevent nausea:

  • Eat small meals that are easy to digest.
  • Eat slowly, chewing all your food good before swallowing.
  • If pregnant, nibble on crackers before getting out of bed.
  • High protein meals.
  • Drink fluids while eating.
  • Rest after eating, keeping the body upright for at least 1 hour after eating.
  • If going on a plane or boat, ask the doctor for motion sickness medication or buy Dramamine over the counter.
    • This allows your body to reduce anxiety and release stress.

How to manage nausea and vomiting

What kind of treatments is available and effective?

  • Medications
    • Crazy as it sounds, medications can cause nausea and vomiting but they can also treat these symptoms. Here are some of those medications:
      • Phenergan
        • This requires a prescription from the doctor.
        • This can cause you to feel sleepy.
      • Zofran
        • This also requires a prescription from your doctor.
        • Most common for cancer patients, especially those taking chemotherapy.
      • Pepto Bismol
        • This is bought over the counter.
        • Most effective for heartburn and diarrhea.
        • Can help with nausea and vomiting.
      • Dramamine
        • You can purchase this over the counter.
        • Dramamine is great for motion sickness.
      • Benadryl
        • An over the counter medication.
        • Relaxes the stomach which in turn can treat nausea.
        • This medication is known to make a person sleepy.
        • Many people use this medication to help with sleeping.
  •  Sleep
    • Getting adequate sleep can help with triggers that might cause nausea/vomiting. Good sleep allows the body to recover and repair itself. Sleeping can help you process your anxieties and recover from of your stress.
  • Rest your stomach
    • If your stomach is upset the best you can do is rest the stomach. Since this includes not eating or drinking for hours, you need to be cautious of dehydration. While working in the hospital, we (medical professionals) would rest the stomach (of an adult) for about 8 hours. Then when starting to reintroduce intake start with ice chips, small bites of crackers and bland food.
  • Fan
    • When the feeling of nausea comes over me I seem to get hot and sweaty. Putting a fan on my face always helps. Due to feeling so hot, allowing the air to circulate in the room can reduce the temperature of the room, which can relax the body.
  • Cool rag
    • When I was a kid and sick my mom would always put a cool rag on my head. When I became a mother, I did the same thing for my children. Also, when I get my migraines I put a cool rag on my forehead. The cooling effects always provide some relief from the nausea feeling.
    • You can also place a cool rag around your neck, on your back, under your armpits or in your groin area
  • Diet: BRAT, bland, soda, sips, small bites
    • As previously stated resting the stomach can provide relief. Once starting fluids and foods you should be cautious in what and how much foods and fluids you restart.
      • BRAT diet: This is a diet with only Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. When I first became a nurse, I worked with kids and this was a popular diet for when they had upset tummies.
      • Bland foods such as saltine crackers, mashed potatoes, broth, scrambled eggs, cooked cereal (oatmeal or cream of wheat), rice, pasta, popsicles and jello
      • Soda: The carbonation in the sodas can calm the stomach. Growing up my mother always gave me Sprite. As an adult, I have learned that Coke works better for me. Something about the acidic in the Coke provides a good relief for me.
      • Ginger Ale: This carbonated drink provides relief to many people.
      • Ginger: I am guessing there is some ginger in a ginger ale drink. This is a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting. The ginger relaxes some muscles in the stomach. Ginger also stimulates some digestive juices which can neutralize stomach acids.
      • Ginger root tea: Cut about 1 inch of ginger root. Peel outer layer. Slice into small pieces. Put in 2 cups of water. Bring to boil for 15 minutes. Drink
      • Water: this is the best thing to drink for someone, but some people can become more nauseated when drinking water
      • Sports drinks are great if you have been vomiting. Sports drinks have electrolytes in them that the body requires.
      • Pedialyte: this is like a sports drink. It is great for babies and young children to replenish their bodies with fluids and electrolytes.
      • Sips: only take sips of fluids, do not chug a huge amount even though you might feel dehydrated. Remember your stomach has not had much in it and if you dump a lot of fluids in it the stomach will get mad. As a result the stomach will spit (vomit) it right back out.
      • Ice chips: These are great for providing relief from the dehydration. They moisten the mouth. Introduce fluids back into the body slowly. They are also cold, providing a cooling sensation.
      • Small bites: Taking small bites of foods. I personally try just small bites of crackers before trying any other foods. Just as before, if you force a lot of anything in your stomach and your stomach does not want it, it will be coming right back out.
      • Peppermint candies: These cause relief to an upset stomach. When my babies were fussy I would let them suck on a peppermint stick or candy cane and this would soothe them and their little tummies.
  • Peace and quite
    • Nausea can often be aggravated by movement. Finding a quiet place, you can lay back, close your eyes and relax.
  • Essential Oils

    • Smells can cause nausea and headaches. Floral smells will cause me to become nauseated and have a migraine headache. Yet certain smells are known to help with nausea. Therefore, essential oils are very popular. Click here for some essential oils. They can be used by rubbing on your skin or in a diffuser (a small machine that releases the smell into the air). Most noteworthy smells for nausea are as followed:
      • Peppermint
      • Spearmint
      • Lemon
      • Ginger
      • Lavender
      • Cannabis
      • Coriander
      • Chamomile

  • Massage
    • Massages can provide relaxation to the overall body.
    • Some people, like myself, carry stress in their neck and shoulders, which result in headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Therefore, massaging of these areas can release the tense muscles and provide some relaxation.
    • Also, foot massages are also known as reflexology can provide a full body relaxation. The foot has reflexes for the entire body. By massaging the foot, you will reach every nerve and reflex of the body.

One of the best feelings in the world…NO LONGER FEELING NAUSEATED.  Can I get a whoop whoop!!!! Just knowing that there are so many options out there to help prevent and treat nausea and vomiting reduces my anxiety. Furthermore, I hope that I have reduces some of your anxiety.

Leave a comment about your tip or trick for dealing with nausea or vomiting.

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