Nausea and Vomiting After Eating: Causes and Tips on How to Prevent It

Nausea and Vomiting After Eating: Causes and Tips on How to Prevent It
Vomiting After Eating - Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
SHARE - It often occurs that you may feel nauseous immediately or within a few hours of overeating, and that can be normal.

However, in case this condition continues, something could be wrong. This article will explore the causes of nausea and vomiting after eating, from mild to severe.

So, let's get started!

Causes of Vomiting

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Here are some possible causes of nausea and vomiting after eating you might experience.

1. Food Poisoning

Foods that are stored for too long or are not refrigerated properly attract bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can make you sick. Symptoms of food poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, usually begin within a few hours after you eat contaminated food.

2. Food Allergies

Certain foods, such as nuts, shellfish, or eggs, can trick your immune system into identifying them as dangerous foreign invaders. When you eat one of these trigger foods, your immune system launches a series of events that lead to the release of histamine and other chemicals.

These chemicals produce allergy symptoms, which can range from itching and swelling of the mouth to nausea.

3. Motion Sickness

Nausea and vomiting after eating also can happen when you’re in a vehicle. Motion sickness is caused when the movements you observe with your eyes do not match the movements of your body. People can experience motion sickness in many places, such as cars, boats, and airplanes.

4. Acid Reflux

A burning feeling behind your breastbone, known as heartburn, is a typical symptom of gastroesophageal disease (GERD), but this condition can also cause nausea. GERD occurs when the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach malfunctions, allowing stomach acid to leak into the esophagus.

Causes of Vomiting

Causes of Vomiting
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5. Gastroparesis

Another cause of vomiting after eating that may occur is delayed stomach emptying of food (gastroparesis). Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach empties very slowly.

Food that can be digested in about four hours in a healthy person may take days to empty the stomach of a person with gastroparesis, says Francisco J. Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Gastroparesis occurs when the vagus nerve, which contracts in the stomach to push food further down the digestive tract, becomes damaged in some way.

6. Pregnancy

One of the earliest signs that you are pregnant is feeling uncomfortable and nauseous, which often begins in the second month of your pregnancy. Changes in hormone levels trigger pregnancy nausea.

Although officially called "morning sickness", nausea can strike at any time, including when eating. Sometimes the smell or taste of certain foods is enough to make your stomach churn. The feeling is temporary, and will not harm you or your baby.

7. Stress and Anxiety

Do you know that stress can trigger nausea and vomiting after eating?

Stress doesn't just affect your emotions. It affects your physical health as well. A difficult breakup or job loss can make you lose your appetite, or feel nauseous and vomiting after eating. Nausea will subside once you control stress.

8. Cancer Treatment

Some chemotherapy drugs cause nausea as a side effect. Nausea will go away after you finish the treatment.

When to See Doctor

When to See Doctor
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Occasional nausea and vomiting after eating are nothing to worry about, but you should call your doctor if it doesn't go away within a week. Call immediately if you have any of these other more serious symptoms:

  • chest pain
  • blood in your stools or vomit
  • extreme thirst, low urine production, weakness, or dizziness, which are signs of dehydration
  • confusion
  • intense pain in the abdomen
  • rapid heartbeat
  • diarrhea that lasts for more than a few days
  • severe vomiting or trouble keeping food down
  • fever of over 101.5°F (38.6°C) 

In kids underage 6, call their pediatrician in case:

  • you see signs of dehydration, such as little or no wet diaper, no tears, or sunken cheeks
  • vomiting lasts for more than a few hours
  • diarrhea doesn’t go away
  • your child is running a fever higher than 100°F (37.8°C)

Tips for Prevention

Tips for Prevention
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Here are some tips to avoid vomiting after eating:

  • Avoid greasy, fried, or spicy foods.
  • Suck on ice cubes or crushed ice.
  • Eat smaller meals more often, rather than three large meals
  • Eat and drink slowly.
  • Relax and sit still after you eat to give your food time to digest.
  • Serve food cold or at room temperature if the smell of cooked food makes you feel nauseous.


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