What Causes Nausea?

What Causes Nausea?

Do you recognise these symptoms: pale skin, sweating and the urge to vomit? These are signs of nausea and are unfortunately common.

Nausea can add additional stress to a job interview or just as easily spoil a well-deserved day at home trying to relax, so in order to stop it ruining your day, we have compiled a list of common causes like pregnancy and motion, as well as natural prevention and remedy tips.

Common causes

Motion sickness & travel sickness

Motion sickness (officially known as kinetosis) is the term for a combination of symptoms that occur when the motion your inner ear perceives differs from the motion you perceive visually. Simply put, this means your eyes and your ears disagree on whether or not you are actually moving and this can result in feeling nauseous.

Motion sickness is obviously extremely common when travelling, and goes under a variety of terms: car sickness, motion sickness, travel sickness and air sickness amongst others. The condition most commonly affects children between the ages of 3 and 12, women and people who regularly suffer from migraines or anxiety about travelling.

If you suffer from motion sickness, read our natural prevention and remedy tips below.

Morning sickness

Morning sickness (officially referred to as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, or NVP), is the term used to describe the collection of symptoms which can affect women during pregnancy. Morning sickness affects most pregnant women to some degree but normally resolves itself after the 16th week of pregnancy. There is still no scientific consensus as to the real root cause or causes, though the most popular two theories involve the fluctuating levels of various hormones in the pregnant woman’s body and that morning sickness is an evolutionary adaptation to protect the baby from substances that may be harmful.

If you suffer from pregnancy nausea, read our natural prevention and remedy tips below.

Migraine nausea

eeling nauseous is one of the less talked about but extremely prevalent side effects of a migraine. As with morning sickness, the causes of migraine nausea are still relatively unknown, some believe that the reason for the relationship between migraines and feelings of nausea relates to serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels cause feelings of nausea and are also believed to signal blood vessels in the brain to enlarge, which has been hypothesised to cause migraines.

If you suffer from migraine nausea, read our natural prevention and remedy tips below.

Anxiety and nerves

Everyone undergoes periods of stress and anxiety. Whether it is in response to a one-off event or a more regular occurrence, nausea is an all too common side effect.

Physiological changes happen in our bodies when we are under prolonged periods of stress and anxiety. One such change is the release of a large amount of adrenaline. Increased levels of adrenaline affect the function of the stomach as well as the levels of acid and enzymes. This leads to the feeling of nausea. There’s no quick fix for stress and anxiety, but the symptoms of nausea can be combatted.

If you suffer from nausea caused by stress, read our natural remedy tips below.

Virtual reality sickness

A relatively new phenomenon, virtual reality nausea shares many similarities with motion sickness and occurs for the same reasons. When using a virtual reality headset, your eyes see you moving through a virtual world; at the same time, the fluids in your inner ear which help you balance sense that you are actually standing still. This conflict between the eyes and ears leads to feelings of nausea and disorientation.

Many companies are currently working on ways to minimise virtual reality nausea amongst customers, but no catchall solution has yet been found. You can, however, minimise the symptoms of nausea during VR usage. Read our natural remedy tips below.

Prevention and remedies

There are a variety of methods both to prevent and to relieve the urge to vomit, running the gamut from medication to relaxation to herbal remedies, here are just a few:

  • Focusing on a stable point, such as the horizon, or simply closing one’s eyes can treat motion and travel sickness. This helps to alleviate the sensory conflict between the perception of motion in the inner ear, and that of the visual system
  • Fresh air can also greatly relieve nausea, so a good idea is to open the window if in a vehicle, or to go onto the deck and enjoy the sea air if on a boat or cruise
  • Ginger has been shown to have many anti-nausea properties; drinking ginger tea, eating ginger biscuits or taking ginger supplements can help to reduce and prevent nausea from occurring
  • Breathing deeply and relaxing can have a huge impact on nausea symptoms. Anxiety and panic serve only to worsen any symptoms
  • Accept that you may be sick, and let the feelings of worry pass, if you can be sick and you find the urge to do so unbearable, allow yourself to
  • Remain hydrated, drink plenty of water, and eat bland food to settle the stomach. Milk and bread are good examples
  • Acupressure on the wrist has been proven to relieve nausea and vomiting. Sea-Band wristbands work by applying pressure to specific points on the wrist, without any unpleasant side effects. This makes it especially useful for long road trips where the drowsiness common to anti-nausea medication is a problem, and for relieving nausea symptoms in children, where the side effects of medication can be far more strongly felt.

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