Overcoming That Queasy Feeling: Medical and Natural Approaches for Nausea
Feeling queasy and unwell? Nausea can arise from a variety of causes, ranging from motion sickness to chemotherapy side effects. While usually temporary, ongoing nausea can significantly interfere with daily life. When home remedies don’t provide enough relief, medications and alternative treatments can help conquer your queasiness.
What Causes Nausea?
Nausea stems from irritation of the vomiting center in the brain.
Potential triggers include:
Motion sickness from travel
Migraines or vertigo
Pregnancy morning sickness
Chemotherapy and medication side effects
Gastroparesis affecting stomach emptying
Anxiety or depression
Infections like a stomach virus
Digestive disorders like gastritis, GERD, gallbladder disease, hepatitis, diverticulitis, or irritable bowel syndrome
Nausea may accompany vomiting, but you can also feel queasy on its own. Identifying the underlying cause is key for proper treatment. A Plano gastroenterologist can help diagnose persistent or severe nausea.
Lifestyle Remedies for Nausea Relief
For mild cases of nausea, simple home remedies may provide symptom relief:
Get fresh air - Step outside or open a window. Deep breathing also helps.
Stay hydrated - Sip water, herbal tea, or clear broth. Dehydration worsens nausea.
Avoid strong smells -They can trigger queasiness. Don’t cook smelly foods if you are not feeling well!
Eat bland foods - Stick to BRAT diet foods like bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.
Use ginger - Ginger tea, candy, or supplements may ease an upset stomach.
Apply a cool compress - Place a cool, damp cloth on your forehead or neck.
Rest and relax - Get adequate sleep and reduce stress. Try meditating as well.
OTC (over-the-counter) Anti-Nausea Medications
When home care doesn’t cut it, over-the-counter anti-nausea medications can help quell symptoms:
Pepto-Bismol - This upset stomach reliever contains bismuth subsalicylate. It coats the gut lining and absorbs fluids to calm nausea and diarrhea.
Emetrol - Made of fructose and glucose, this OTC medication helps relieve nausea from stomach viruses.
Benadryl - The antihistamine diphenhydramine in Benadryl can reduce nausea by blocking histamine receptors. If you suffer from high blood pressure you should avoid this medication, as it may increase blood pressure further.
Sea-Bands - These acupressure wristbands apply gentle pressure to relieve nausea from motion sickness and morning sickness.
Follow dosage instructions carefully when taking OTC anti-nausea products. Check with your doctor about using them with other medications or when pregnant.
Prescription Anti-Nausea Medications
For more severe cases of nausea and vomiting, prescription medications offer stronger relief:
Zofran (ondansetron) - This antiemetic drug blocks serotonin receptors to prevent nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, surgery, or stomach viruses. It comes as a tablet, liquid, injectable, orally dissolving tablet, or orally disintegrating tablet.
Compazine (prochlorperazine) - Used to treat nausea from migraines, vertigo, and anesthesia side effects. It blocks dopamine receptors and is available as a tablet, capsule, liquid, or rectal suppository.
Reglan (metoclopramide) - Helps improve stomach emptying in gastroparesis and diabetic nausea. It works by stimulating gut motility. Common side effects include restlessness and muscle spasms, and care needs to be taken when using for any extended periods due to a neurological side effect called Tardive Dyskinesia.
Phenergan (promethazine) - This antihistamine can reduce nausea from motion sickness, migraines, vertigo, stomach viruses, and medications. It comes as a tablet or rectal suppository.
Aloxi (palonosetron) - Used to prevent and treat delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea. This selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonist has a longer half-life than similar antiemetics. It is typically only given in a hospital or similar facility as it is available as an intravenous medication.
Akynzeo - This combination drug contains the antiemetics netupitant and palonosetron to prevent nausea from chemotherapy. It targets distinct serotonin (5-HT3) and substance P/neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptors. This medication is available only as an injection.
Alternative Treatments for Nausea
Some patients find relief from nausea using complementary and integrative approaches:
Acupuncture - This ancient Chinese medicine technique applies tiny needles to specific acupressure points on the body to relieve nausea and vomiting. Evidence supports its use for chemotherapy, pregnancy, and post-surgery nausea.
Relaxation techniques - Hypnosis training and mindfulness-based stress reduction can help quell queasiness worsened by anxiety.
Ginger supplements - Several studies suggest ginger is effective for pregnancy-related morning sickness. It may also help chemotherapy nausea when added to antiemetics.
Medical marijuana - Marijuana activates cannabinoid receptors involved in nausea and vomiting. Research indicates THC and CBD can reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea that’s unresponsive to other treatments.
Peppermint oil - Inhaling or ingesting peppermint oil appears to alleviate nausea by activating serotonin receptors. Add a few drops to water or inhale the aroma directly.
See your Plano gastroenterologist or oncologist for guidance using alternative nausea remedies alongside conventional treatment.
When to Seek Medical Care With Your Plano Gastroenterologist
Contact your doctor if nausea persists over 48 hours or prevents you from drinking fluids. Severe vomiting and dehydration requires prompt IV fluids. Also seek medical attention for nausea accompanied by:
Fever or stiff neck
Abdominal pain or swelling
Blood in vomit
Blurred vision or headaches
Uncontrolled nausea can have serious health consequences. Your plano GI doctor can determine whether an underlying condition like a bowel obstruction requires emergency care. With appropriate treatment, you can get nausea relief and return to normal eating and activities.
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DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog is intended for Informational Use only and is not intended to replace personal evaluation and treatment by a medical provider. The information provided on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor for any information related to your personal care.