Nausea, and its evil stepsister, vomiting, can ruin your entire day. Even if you never eject, the stormy-seas sensation makes it challenging to concentrate on anything else.
When your stomach threatens to revolt, you need to find relief quickly. Here are eight tips for how to combat nausea that can help you feel better and get back to daily life.
1. Take a Pregnancy Test
It’s one of Hollywood’s favorite clichés — the female protagonist gets nauseous and vomits, and bam. Everyone in her squad knows that she’s pregnant, whether she intended to spill the beans or not.
However, if you’re a sexually active female, pregnancy can possibly cause your stomach upset. No form of birth control is 100% effective, even tubal ligation. Methods like condoms and the pill also include the potential for human error, so don’t delay taking that test. Depending on where you live, the stage of your pregnancy may determine your options.
2. Go Ginger
When you were little, did your folks tell you to drink ginger ale when you had an upset stomach? If so, their hearts were in the right place, even if their choice of cola brand forgot one ingredient. When it comes to how to combat nausea, this Asian root herb is a potent weapon.
However, if you read many commercial ale labels, they contain no real ginger. Even the leading brands often fail to specify how much extract they possess. You’re better off brewing a cup of tea using the dried root.
3. Try Mint
Peppermint and spearmint both have stellar reputations among herbalists for combatting gastrointestinal disorders. However, depending on your unique physiology, the variety you choose could make all the difference.
Peppermint receives the most scientific attention, and the Natural Medicines Database considers it an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers believe the polyphenols and menthol activate a pain-relieving process in the guts that counters sensitive nerve fibers.
However, in sensitive individuals, too much peppermint can trigger the same symptoms they take it to correct. If you find that peppermint is too harsh, try milder spearmint. You can even make a tea from basil — it’s in the same family and less heavy on the polyphenols.
4. Use a Cool Compress
Some migraine patients report feeling hot in the back of the neck when nausea raises its ugly head. Those who get Botox for chronic migraine receive injections in this area.
However, you might ease nausea even if you don’t have the condition by applying a cool compress to the back of your neck. Doing so numbs the vagus nerve, which carries messages from your gut to your brain. It also decreases your body temperature, helping calm your body if stress contributes to your discomfort.
5. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can lead to nausea — and vomiting can make the condition worse. Carry a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day. By the time you feel thirsty, you might already start growing queasy and headache-y.
The verdict is out on whether carbonation helps. People with disorders like GERD might find that it makes nausea worse. However, some patients with Crohn’s report that flatwater upsets their stomach, something awful. Try both ways to see what works for you — devices like the Sodastream can carbonate tap water if you avoid diet colas.
6. Change Up Your Diet
It should come as no surprise that eating the wrong thing can cause an upset stomach. To combat this nausea cause, pay attention if the condition only seems to arise after eating certain foods.
Some dishes, such as mayonnaise-based salads, can turn bad quickly if left uncovered at picnics or barbecues. Don’t leave these out for more than two hours to prevent contamination. Undercooked meat is another possible culprit.
Food allergies can trigger nausea. If you notice that you have an adverse reaction to tomato sauce or citrus fruits, consider trying an elimination diet. If banning these from your diet solves the problem, you may need to pass on spaghetti — or opt for pesto instead of marinara.
7. Practice Deep Breathing and Meditation
Deep breathing and meditation can help tame pain, including nausea. If you struggle to keep your focus on your breath when queasiness overwhelms you, you can find guided recordings for free on YouTube that help reprogram your brain to relax.
Sometimes, nausea results from too much stress. If you suspect tension is your culprit, practice 2-to-1 breathing by exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. This technique activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which tells your body to relax.
8. Consider Medication
Finally, if you have a condition like migraine disease that causes frequent nausea, talk to your doctor. Some prescription medications can stop the issue before it leads to vomiting and dehydration.
Some over-the-counter remedies might also help. Many patients report that vitamin B-6 works as well as prescriptions like Zofran or Phenergan. Ultimately, it comes down to your unique physiology.
Learn How to Combat Nausea With These 8 Tips
Feeling like you need to vomit can throw a wrench into your day. Learn how to combat nausea with these eight tips and get back to feeling better faster.