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Here are reasons why some people with IBS get nausea

One of our readers recently asked us if nausea is commonly linked to IBS. Many times, he feels nauseous after a meal. Other times, it will happen late in the afternoon just when he’s about to relax. The nausea has been so bad that he keeps an anti-emetic, such as Dramamine, nearby at all times. We advised our reader to seek a doctor to confirm his suspicions.

Anyone with IBS is no stranger to digestive issues. Nausea can make having IBS even worse. According to a study conducted on 2014, Lin Chang, MD, reported that IBS-related nausea affects about 38% of women and 27% of men. In another study, published in PubMed Central, researchers found that people with IBS experienced higher rates of nausea after meals.

One reason for the nausea people experience may be related to the types of food they eat. They may not realize that they’re consuming foods that can trigger IBS symptoms or nausea. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following foods may trigger nausea:

  • Caffeine

  • Spices, such as onions and garlic

  • Milk

  • Beans

  • Fatty foods

  • Alcohol

It’s also possible that nausea is a side effect of a medication. There are some drugs that are designed to treat IBS, such as lubiprostone, which can also cause nausea for some patients.

It’s time to see a doctor if the nausea has been occurring for several weeks or months, impacting your daily life, or is causing vomiting. A physician can help ease the symptoms if it’s medically related. A dietitian/nutritionist can be helpful if the side effect is attributed to foods.

If your physician is in agreement, there are some over-the-counter (OTC) medications that some swear by. As we mentioned earlier, one of our readers takes Dramamine® when he begins to feel nauseous. Pepto Bismol® is another well-known OTC drug that treats both nausea and IBS-D. Emetrol® is an OTC that has also been proven to also calm the stomach.

Some people swear by alternative therapies to ease their symptoms. Ginger is an herbal remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to calm the gut. Another option is peppermint oil. It has both a calming and numbing effect on the body, which can help quelch queasiness. There have also been studies that show acupuncture is effective for nausea. The placement of needles at certain parts of the body stimulates the nerves, which can send signals to the brain to calm the stomach. However, before trying any alternative therapy, it’s best to get the healthcare provider’s approval first.

Our IBS Life reader came back to us and confirmed that his spells of nausea are related to his gut health. That’s a great first step. The second is looking for ways to ease the queasiness that comes with the territory. Seek out what works best and get the healthcare provider involved. Solutions are available. You just need to find it.


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