It is completely normal to feel stomach upset and nausea from time to time. However, when those feelings become chronic, they require further investigation to determine the underlying cause.
Mental Health Causing Nausea
Stress, fear, and anxiety can cause many stomach-related problems. Stress and depression can contribute to ulcers, anxiety can result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, and insomnia can make a person feel generally weak, sick, or sensitive to aches and pains. Mental health conditions such as eating disorders can also have an impact on the digestive system, causing decreased stomach size, anemia and vitamin deficiencies that can all lead the stomach to feel upset.
Nausea Caused by Food, Diet, and Lifestyle
Sometimes lifestyle is the direct cause for stomach pains. Consuming foods that are high in sugar or generally unhealthy can put a strain on the stomach. Habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, and use of prescription drugs can also exacerbate chronic nausea.
In some cases, a food intolerance may be involved. Conditions like Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or other allergies may develop at any point in a person’s life and cause pains when triggering foods are consumed. In some cases, food poisoning may also play a role. Help prevent these problems by knowing and avoiding irritating foods, remaining hydrated, and limiting exposure to harmful bacteria through handwashing and diligent personal hygiene.
Disorders of the Digestive Tract that Can Cause Nausea
Chronic conditions of the stomach or digestive tract could also be the cause of lingering nausea. Some of these conditions include acid reflux disease, problems with the gall bladder, pancreatitis, gastroparesis, diabetes, cancers of the digestive system, and appendicitis. If you suspect that any of these may be the cause, the best option is to seek medical attention and have a doctor outline a treatment plan based on your condition.
Conditions that cause problems with our ability to perceive motion and balance can also cause nausea. Swelling or infection of the inner ear can cause our balance to be off creating disorientation. We can also experience vertigo or motion sickness that triggers nausea.
Many women also discover that one of the earliest signs of pregnancy is nausea. “Morning sickness” is a symptom many women experience for the first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy. The direct cause is unclear, but it is suspected to be a relation to lack of vitamin B6 and hormonal imbalances. Many women also feel stomach pains that are also associated with their menstrual cycle.
If your stomach pain has become an ongoing issue that is interfering with your quality of life, you may have a serious condition. If the severity or frequency of your nausea becomes too much to bear, you should seek medical attention. Contact a gastroenterologist, like those with GI Alliance and schedule an appointment.