If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, then the frequent unexplained bouts of nausea are most likely caused by it too. Anxiety triggers a fight-and-flight response in the human body. This extreme emotional state stimulates the central nervous system like the cerebral cortex and the limbic system.
The activated central nervous system goes on to create the sensation of nausea and vomiting. Just because you are suffering from anxiety does not mean that you will experience nausea. People respond differently to anxiety. Nausea is problematic if it occurs frequently and is persistent, and you should consult a physician as soon as possible.
Here are 11 ways to help you stop nausea and fight anxiety:
If it is your first time experiencing severe nausea and you are unsure if your nausea is related to your anxiety disorder, then any of the following over-the-counter (OTC) antiemetic drugs can help you calm your stomach:
- Nauzene: It enables you to relax by neutralizing stomach acid. It’s highly effective for anxiety-induced nausea.
- Daramine: It is an antihistamine that treats motion sickness related to nausea. Meclizine is also used for similar purposes.
- Emetrol: It treats nausea due to intestinal flu or stomach flu.
Other medications that you should only take after consultation with your physician:
- Xanax: Benzodiazepines relieve anxiety-induced nausea by controlling your anxiety. However, caution is advised as these drugs can lead to high dependence over time. Consult your physician and take medication as prescribed.
- Compazine: Severe nausea and vomiting can be controlled by Compazine. It is an anti-psychotic drug used to treat panic attacks and anxiety.
2. Home Remedies
Suppose you are looking for natural remedies for nausea, or perhaps the nausea is severe enough to see a doctor or go out for medication is not possible for you. In that case, the following will help you ease your system and tone down your nausea.
- Consume ginger: Ginger is an ancient remedy for nausea, stomach ache, and other digestive tract disorders. Ginger helps to speed up movement through the gastrointestinal tract and keeps your blood pressure stable. Ginger can be consumed with tea or in capsulated form.
- Consume peppermint: Peppermint is used to treat nausea and digestive tract disorders. It helps relax your stomach muscles and speeds up the process of breaking down fats. Peppermint tea is a common way of intake though capsules are also available.
- Use essential oils: Ginger oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, and lemon oil are also used to treat nausea. The most common way to inhale is with a diffuser’s help that fills the air with essential oils.
These can also be used in massage therapy through essential oils diluted before being applied to the body. You can also lay them on a hand towel or a handkerchief and place it close to your nose to take in the aroma.
- Use spices: If nausea is worsened during menstruation, then fennel powder and cinnamon may help reduce the severity of nausea. Cumin seeds will also help relieve abdomen pain and nausea.
Consume Vitamin B-6 supplements: Pregnant women prone to anxiety can experience severe nausea. Vitamin B-6 can help avoid anti-nausea medication and relieve nausea. Examples of foods containing vitamin B-6 include fish, peanuts, soya beans, oats, bananas, etc.
3. Breathing Exercises
Breathing helps your body relax and lowers your stress levels. Try the following breathing meditation techniques to help you ease your anxiety and anxiety-induced nausea.
- Get yourself in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothes that might restrict your breathing.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and slowly breathe out through your mouth. This will help you ease your nausea.
- To help you with anxiety and stress, slowly take as deep a breath as you can, and without holding or pausing, let it flow out gently.
- Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.
Belly breathing can help you with your anxiety too
- Lie down on a comfortable place and place a pillow underneath your knees.
- Place your hands on your chest.
- Breath in through your nose.
- Make sure your stomach rises, but your chest remains relatively still.
Exhale through your mouth.
Mindfulness is an exercise that helps you become present at the moment. It’s an excellent way to help you relax and engage more with your surroundings. Mindfulness exercises are proven to relieve stress.
It requires a lot of practice, though, so you should spend some time reading about it. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes for you to focus on one single moment. There are many different types of mindfulness exercises, and not all of them will work for you, so you have to keep trying until you find an exercise that works best for you.
One exercise allows you to focus on your breathing. Whenever you feel a bout of nausea coming on, sit down and take a deep breath. Keep your eyes closed as you focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. Doing this for even just a minute can do wonders for your body.
5. Physical Exercise
A moderately intense workout goes a long way in treating different illnesses. An intense workout will intensify your nausea. When you exercise intensely, your body re-directs your blood flow from your gastrointestinal tract to the muscles that are working. This slows down the process of digestion and aggravates nausea.
With low or moderate workouts, this will not happen. Moderate exercise will help release endorphins, which help alleviate nausea and stress.
Also, as you work out, endorphins and dopamine will relieve your body of stress and anxiety. Lower levels of anxiety will lower your anxiety-induced nausea.
While performing a workout, focus on your breath. Take long and deep breaths. Avoid strict workout routine and timings. Rest whenever you feel like it, and do not put extra strain on your body. Take ginger and mint before and while working out.
Acupressure is putting pressure on specific places on your body called acupoint. When you apply pressure to these points, it releases muscle tension. It can help reduce nausea and vomiting.
Pressure point p-6 is located on your inner arm.
- Stretch your hand so that your fingers are pointing straight and your palm is facing you.
- Place 3 fingers of the other hand across your wrist, just below the end of the palm.
- Place the thumb just below the finger placed furthest from the palm.
- Use your thumb and your forefingers to press this point for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep moving your thumb in a circular motion while applying pressure.
- Repeat the process on your other hand.
7. Healthy Diet
If you are suffering from anxiety-induced nausea, then a healthy diet is necessary to decrease the intensity of nausea.
- A bland diet will ease your nausea and reduce the risk of an upset stomach.
- Avoid spicy and salty foods, as most of them contain capsaicin, which slows down your digestion rate.
- Avoid fatty and greasy foods as they increase the digestive tract’s contractions, which can slow down your rate of digestion or cause diarrhea.
- Introduce protein to your diet and take small but frequent meals.
- Avoid drinking and eating at the same time.
- Minimize the use of caffeine in your diet. Caffeine stimulates anxiety and will worsen nausea.
- Increase the intake of nuts, fruits, yogurt, eggs, and dark chocolate to help you with your anxiety.
Drink more soup.
8. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause dizziness and nausea, which may lead to vomiting, and leads to more dehydration. Dehydration is also one of the common causes of anxiety. Human bodies are 70% water. With less bodily fluids, few digestive liquids are produced that can lead to nausea.
With less water in the brain, headaches and tiredness can lead to anxiety and nausea. It increases the heart rate, drops the blood pressure, stresses the body, and aggravates your anxiety. Drinking too much water can also cause nausea by making your stomach feel uncomfortable.
Drink water whenever you feel thirsty, and make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water every day and keep yourself hydrated. If you don’t feel right drinking water, you can try to stay hydrated by eating watery fruits, drinking milk, and other shakes and soups.
9. Improve Sleep
Improper sleep can causes imbalances in your cortisol levels. Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure and metabolism. People can experience nausea and other gastrointestinal tract disorders due to improper sleep.
Studies in neuroscience show that sleep deprivation triggers the brain’s areas associated with emotional processing and regulation, similar to abnormal neural activities found in anxiety disorders. Lack of sleep can turn mild anxiety into severe anxiety disorders. It makes sense that when we are alone with our thoughts, we are more likely to worry and have anxious thoughts. By reverting to a more natural sleeping order, we can avoid excessive anxiety.
Also, proper sleep is required to be able to function properly during the day. Try to get 8 hours of sleep every day.
10. Healthy lifestyle
Avoid drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and other harmful substances to help you cope with your symptoms. Identify and avoid stressful and anxiety-provoking situations. Maintaining a healthy social and support network will reduce your risk of nausea, depression, and anxiety attacks.
Sometimes, anxiety makes it hard to make new social connections. But, reaching out and keeping regular contact with friends and family for support will help you deal with your anxiety and reduce your nausea. Interaction with others can help reframe our perspective and ease our anxieties.
Yoga can help to alleviate anxiety and stress. Try other active relaxation techniques like meditation and tai chi. They will help you focus on one task and shut out distracting anxious thoughts. Add other physical and recreational activities to your life. Take up hobbies and do sports. Get so busy doing positive things that you never have the time to experience nausea and think about your anxiety.
The most effective way of treating anxiety-induced nausea is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). If you can treat your anxiety, then nausea bouts will occur less frequently. CBT focuses on the elimination of negative thoughts that precede negative emotions that lead to anxiety.
Your therapist will help you recognize your negative thoughts and behaviors and actively work with you to change your patterns. Your therapist will teach you relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and meditation practices to help you relax during tense situations.
The vestibular system in your ears is also closely linked to the central nervous system. Any problem or discomfort of the vestibular system can stimulate the central nervous system, which will create sensations of nausea and vomiting.
Motion sickness and nausea experienced during repeated movements result from the vestibular system sending mixed signals to the brain. If your vestibular system is defective, vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) will treat anxiety-induced nausea.
If you want to get rid of anxiety and nausea, your best bet is to seek psychotherapy for your anxiety while actively trying to control your nausea. Psychotherapy is a long-term solution to your problem. Also, don’t get discouraged by the slow progress you make in therapy. It may take months or years before you can see significant changes. The treatment takes time, but you will eventually get better.
Alternatively, if you need to seek psychotherapy, be sure to check out ahealo.com. Ahealo is an online psychotherapy platform with a diverse range of psychotherapists for many different fields of mental challenges. Ahealo provides ePsychotherapy at an affordable price, confidential, convenient (through a web page 1-1 private video call), and at your comfortable schedule.
With these options, we believe your insomnia can be resolved soon.
Take care and stay well.