Eating and Nausea

By Joseph McAllister

Nothing can spoil a good meal like a bout of nausea after eating it. The nausea can be caused by many things, from illness to your body’s natural reaction to changing hormones. Although many times the nausea will pass, you should visit your doctor if you consistently suffer from nausea after eating, or if it is accompanied by severe pain, fever or other symptoms.


Overeating can cause nausea as your body tries to deal with the extra food. This can occur in anyone, especially those who have had some kind of surgery that reduces their stomach’s capacity to hold food. Eat slowly and only until your body tells you that you are satisfied. If you are obese you may deal with nausea after eating more than your skinny friends. According to a study published in the September 2004 issue of the "American Journal of Gastroenterology," people with a greater body mass index experience more nausea after eating than those with a lower body mass index.


Unfortunately, during pregnancy, nausea can occur at any time because your body is suddenly increasing its production of hormones. Sometimes, eating certain foods might cause nausea, while not eating enough can also cause nausea. The Cleveland Clinic suggests eating small meals with simple foods that will not irritate your stomach. To further combat nausea, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends that you eat slowly, avoid laying down soon after a meal and sniff a lemon or some ginger to relieve an upset stomach.

Food Poisoning

Occasionally, food can be contaminated with infectious organisms or toxins, causing food poisoning. MedlinePlus.com reports that food poisoning usually presents with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea within hours after eating the contaminated food. Usually, the symptoms pass on their own, but serious cases might require a doctor’s care.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is an illness in which your stomach’s contents back up into your esophagus because the lower esophageal sphincter, which seals food into your stomach, does not work right. Nausea after eating is a common symptom of GERD, along with heartburn. GERD can cause damage to your esophagus, so see your doctor if you are concerned you might have GERD.

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