Nausea After Eating

This article helps you understand the various possible reasons behind experiencing nausea after eating, and provides a few self-care methods to manage the condition.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
It is certainly not nice to feel nauseated after having a hearty meal. The problem should not be concerning, if it happens occasionally. However, if the same occurs consistently, or starts getting worse, then it is imperative to seek medical help at the earliest.
The Causes
Understand that, nausea or vomiting is not a disease in itself, but an indicant of certain ongoing physiological or psychological problems in the body. Some common conditions that may cause the sufferer to feel nauseous or vomit after eating include:
Food Poisoning
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, nearly 1 in 6 people gets affected by food poisoning, annually. Eating food that gets contaminated with pathogens or their toxins, causes this condition. Within hours after eating such food, symptoms like nausea and vomiting begin to occur. The condition is further worsened by diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.
Psychological Stress
Feeling nauseous after a meal may indicate that the affected person is in some sort of distress. It is clinically proven that, emotions influence almost all bodily functions, including that of the digestive system. It could happen that while you are eating, you are overly anxious, stressed or excited about something. So, such emotions may lead to something as uncomfortable as feeling nauseated.
Viral Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
Viral gastroenteritis refers to a viral infection that attacks the stomach and intestines. Eating contaminated food or sharing contaminated items causes the infection. In most cases, viral gastroenteritis triggers nausea or vomiting in the affected person shortly after eating. It also causes a low-grade fever, stomach ache, watery stools, and headache.
Bulimia Nervosa
A potentially life-threatening and much more serious condition than the ones mentioned above, bulimia nervosa is a psychological problem which manifests itself as an eating disorder. Affected people severely starve themselves to lose weight because they live in a perpetual fear of putting on weight. Starvation is usually followed by uncontrollable eating, and then, self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives or indulging in rigorous exercise. So, feeling nauseated shortly after a meal may be an indicator of bulimia.
Peptic Ulcer
Peptic ulcers are mainly caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, prolonged use of pain-relieving drugs or other medicines. The main sign of the condition is a burning pain that mostly occurs in the area that lies between the breastbone and naval. This pain gets worse when the stomach is empty, and is somewhat relieved by consuming certain foods. Less commonly, peptic ulcers are known to cause mild nausea after the affected person has eaten.
Other Causes

  • Indigestion
  • Irregular eating habits
  • Stomach cancer (a less common cause)
  • Food allergy
Self-Care Measures
Nausea or vomiting could have a wide range of medical conditions as its cause. That is why, it is important to seek medical help and get the underlying cause diagnosed. Apart from what doctors suggest, here are some self-care measures that may help manage the condition at home.
☛ Develop healthy eating habits. You can start by eating smaller, nutritious meals several times a day, eating slowly and without any distractions, avoiding overeating, and more importantly, eating at regular times.
☛ Nausea is worsened by hyperactivity and a lifestyle conducive to stress. So, take out some time for a leisure activity, and help your body and mind unwind.
☛ Nausea can be controlled by taking clear or ice-cold drinks, lemonade or fruit juices throughout the day. Lemon tea, herbal tea or green tea also helps in the treatment. Increase the amount of liquid foods in your diet to evade the risk of dehydration.
☛ Smell arising from cooking, perfumes, smoke from vehicles or oil, etc., can cause some people to feel nauseated. So, avoid exposure to such elements. Also avoid riding vehicles, congested spaces, and prolonged exposure to heat and humidity after having your meal.
☛ Include more of bland and light foods in your diet, and refrain from spicy and greasy foods. Whole grains, fresh fruits, and other nutritious foods also help in curbing nausea.
☛ Some people may get nauseated by the smell of hot or warm foods. If you have a similar problem, then let the food cool down to room temperature before eating it.
☛ For some people, it becomes difficult to avoid foods that have made them nauseous in the past. In such cases, it is advisable to carry over-the-counter medicines, and use them when needed and as prescribed by the chemist.
Chronic episodes of nausea after eating is a matter of great concern. It may not be wise to take such matters in your own hands and seek help only when the problem gets worse. Timely treatment can help lessen your anxiety, ensure quick relief from such ailments, and reduce the risk of any complications.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.