Nausea or nausea

Nausea or nausea describes the feeling of having to vomit; this symptom is common, especially during pregnancy.
The nausea may be acute and short-lived or lasting; in the case of long-term occurrence, it can have a debilitating effect and make everyday life a torment.


Morning sickness in pregnancy, what is it?

The feeling of severe nausea, which can also lead to vomiting, is mistakenly called “morning sickness” because it starts in the morning immediately after getting up on an empty stomach. However, nausea can occur at any time of the day or night, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy; it can also last until the end of pregnancy.

Morning sickness in pregnancy, what are the causes?

An unknown hormone combination, increased stress and other changes in the body (for example, increased sensitivity to smell or metallic taste in the mouth) can affect the woman’s physical well-being, especially in the first months of pregnancy.
Pregnancy nausea can be caused by:

  • increase in gonadotropin and estrogen levels in the body,
  • relaxation of the muscles of the digestive tract (inefficient digestion) due to increasing progesterone levels,

Anyone who skips a meal or suffers from nutritional disorders can be more affected by nausea.

What you should know about pregnancy nausea: Most women already know the bad news:

nausea often starts in the morning, can last all day and also 7 days a week.
The good news is that nausea is mostly limited to the period between the 12th and 14th week of pregnancy (SSW).
The nausea can occur from the 2nd week of pregnancy and last until the eighth or ninth month, in some cases even until birth.
The best news is that nausea tends to be worst in the first pregnancy; there are good prospects of surviving further pregnancies without nausea.
Morning sickness does not have any harmful effects on the baby. Women who suffer from nausea are even much less likely to miscarry than women who do not experience nausea.
Caution: Most women give birth to healthy children, regardless of whether they have suffered from persistent morning sickness or not.

Apart from pregnancy, what else can cause nausea and vomiting?

Nausea and vomiting may occur individually or together. The most common causes of this are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Gastric paralysis (gastroparesis), which means a suspended or reduced mobility of the stomach
  • General anesthesia
  • Migraine
  • Motion sickness (kinetosis) (i.e. a disturbance after circular movements, e.g. after a carousel ride)
  • Overdose of alcohol, prohibited or toxic substances
  • Rotavirus
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (also causes burping and bitter taste in the mouth)
  • Indigestion (the nausea occurs after eating)
  • Smoke
  • Premenstrual syndrome (period between ovulation and the onset of menstruation)
  • Vertigo
  • Appendicitis
  • Meningitis
  • Renal colic
  • Renal failure
  • Thyroid disorders, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Viral intestinal flu (gastroenteritis), also causes diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain and fever
  • Hypoglycaemia (hypoglycaemia)
  • Anxiety (may cause recurrent nausea, tachycardia, tingling, dizziness, etc.)
  • Medications such as high-dose paracetamol (Ben-u-ron), sertraline (Zoloft) or certain antibiotics.

What helps against nausea?

Drinking a lot
Eating on an irritated stomach may not be a good idea, because the digestive activity would put additional strain on it.
You should limit yourself to drinking fluids until your condition improves and the nausea subsides.
Recommended are room-tempered liquids, such as water and diluted fruit juices (except juices from citrus fruits), because they are easily digestible and prevent the body from drying out as a result of vomiting or diarrhea.

Wait and see Doctors agree that in the case of a stomach flu, it is still best to stay in bed for a while.
The more the body rests, the more energy it has available to fight the disease.

No alcohol
Anyone who has ever had a hangover knows that alcohol can have an extremely stomach-irritating effect. If you suffer from stomach pain, you should not get drunk.
And if the sudden nausea is caused even by excessive alcohol consumption, this is one more reason to abstain from it.
The same applies to fatty or very spicy foods, caffeinated drinks and cigarettes.

Give in to the nausea
Under no circumstances should you try to counteract the nausea, because vomiting gives the body the opportunity to free itself from something that is not good for the stomach. Those who suppress the stimulus can damage the esophagus.

The cooling of the head by ice packs can provide great relief in case of nausea. The vomiting does not stop, but the affected person feels a little better.

fluid and mineral balance In case of nausea and vomiting, it is important to compensate for the lost fluid and restore the balance of electrolytes (sodium and potassium).
If you can’t keep food with you for a day or two, you should have a sports drink (e.g. Gatorade), which is stomach-friendly and has been specially developed to provide the body with minerals.
If the drink causes stomach discomfort, it can be diluted with water.

Acupuncture and relaxation measures
It has been shown that acupuncture can be used effectively against pregnancy nausea.
The classic relaxation methods such as meditation and yoga can also help.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemonade helps against nausea; also the smell of the lemon can relieve the symptoms.

Treatment of chronic nausea

Pregnancy-tolerant medications

Bismuth, over-the-counter medicines protect the stomach wall and can relieve the feeling of nausea. Aspirin irritates the stomach and should be avoided.
There are medications that can also be taken during pregnancy, here are some examples:

  • Dimenhydrinate (Travel-Gum®, Vomacur®)
  • Metoclopramide (Gastrosil®)
  • Domperidone (Motilium®)

If the nausea is caused by a digestive problem, a glass of water with a spoonful of bicarbonate may help.

What to eat? Nutrition tips for pregnancy nausea

The healthy and balanced diet recommended during pregnancy should continue to be followed, special attention should be paid to the dynamic duo: protein and complex carbohydrates; they fight nausea, especially when ingested together.
Avoid milk and dairy products.
Natural remedies from the kitchen

Anise Anise
can be used to combat nausea and vomiting.
For aniseed tea, brew 1/4 teaspoon of anise with 1/2 cup of boiling water and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes.
Drink once a day.
You can also sprinkle vegetables such as carrots and pumpkin with aniseed.
If the stomach tolerates fruit during or immediately after a vomiting attack, anise can be consumed together with baked apples or pears.

Fennel 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds brew with
1 cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey to taste. Drink as much of it as the nausea allows.

Ginger ginger
is without doubt the best remedy for an irritated stomach and helps in any form with nausea.
Try ginger tea or gingerbread.
For travel sickness, try ginger sticks or crystallized ginger instead of tablets or patches.
Studies show that ginger is more effective than the medicines from the pharmacy. Ginger ale should only be drunk if it really contains ginger. Ginger ale is nowadays often made without the healing ginger.

Peppermint Peppermint
tea is effective against nausea. Simply add a teaspoon of dried mint leaves to half a liter of hot water and leave to infuse for 30 minutes; stir and drink; do not remove the mint leaves but drink them, because they can help to cure the nausea.

Licorice You can chew on a licorice
root; however, there are side effects such as high blood pressure.
Behavioral tips for pregnancy nausea

Avoid any food at the sight and smell of which your stomach has already turned; these are usually spicy, fatty and acidic foods, as they have a very intense aroma.
Focus on healthy foods that you tolerate well and guarantee the supply of the most important nutrients until the diet can be made more varied again.

One should not go crazy with recommended daily rations now, as the needs of the baby are still very reduced.

Eat little but often; 6 to 8 smaller meals are ideal and 3 large meals are preferable.
On an empty stomach, stomach acid has nothing to gnaw at except the stomach lining – this increases nausea during pregnancy.
In addition, small meals are easier to digest and the likelihood of nausea is reduced.

Eat in bed. Put simple nibbles such as crackers, dry cookies or crispbread on your bedside table so that the belly never gets completely empty.
Stay in the morning and eat something before you get up.

You can also have a small snack when going to the toilet at night.
Focus on drinking; Fluid is always more important than solid food in the short term (especially for vomiting).
In liquid form, some things are also easier to digest, the nutrients can be taken, for example, in the form of soup or mixed fruit drinks.
According to various scientific studies, ginger is an effective remedy for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Drink ginger ale, ginger tea, ginger drinks or suck ginger candies.

Crackers or pretzel sticks are tried and tested remedies when nothing else seems to help against nausea.
Take the vitamin supplements for pregnant women in the evening and make sure that they do not contain iron, at least as long as the pregnancy nausea persists.
Check with your doctor to see if it makes sense to take vitamin B6, which can help with stress and nausea.

Read more: