We’ve all experienced that unpleasant feeling of nausea after eating a little too much of our favorite food. But if you find yourself constantly feeling queasy after meals, there may be something else going on. To help you identify the cause of your unease, experts have shared 10 possible reasons why you may be feeling nauseous after eating.
Eating should be a pleasure, not a painful experience. Sure, feeling a little bloated after a meal is normal every now and then, such as when you indulge in a delicious flourless chocolate cake or have an extra helping of three-bean chili. However, these instances of discomfort tend to be short-lived and have a clear cause. To ensure your mealtime experiences are enjoyable and satisfying, remember to practice mindful eating.
If you’re feeling nauseous, bloated, or gassy after eating, it could be a sign of an underlying condition or an indication that you need to adjust your eating habits. Even if you think you’re eating well, there could be a variety of factors – from what you eat to when you eat to how you eat – that are contributing to your post-meal discomfort. Taking the time to identify and address these issues can help you avoid future indigestion and enjoy your meals more.
If you’re feeling nauseous after eating, you’re not alone! Many people suffer from this common symptom, but the exact cause can be hard to pinpoint. To help get to the bottom of it, we spoke with gut health experts to find out the potential reasons you may be feeling this way and what you can do about them. Here are the reasons they have explained for this condition –
Reasons You Are Feeling Nauseous After Eating
1. You Are Not Properly Chewing Your Food
With so many distractions in our modern world, it’s no surprise that we tend to scarf down our meals in two or three bites. But did you know that not properly chewing your food can lead to discomfort, gas, bloating, and nausea? The next time you eat, try to take a break from scrolling through Instagram and checking your email and really focus on eating your meal. Take your time to thoroughly chew your food and savor each bite. Not only will it help your digestion, it will also give you the chance to really enjoy your meal.
Chewing your food thoroughly not only helps to break it down, but also helps your body to absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat. When you chew your food, it is exposed to saliva for longer periods of time, allowing the digestive enzymes in your saliva to do their work and making it easier for your digestive system to process the food. Aim to chew each bite of food at least 15-25 times for optimal benefits. By taking the time to properly chew your food, you can ensure that your body gets the maximum amount of nutrition from it!
When chewing is a priority, you’ll likely notice many health benefits such as fewer feelings of bloat and indigestion after meals, regulated appetite, true feelings of fullness, and a healthier gut microbiome due to epithelial growth factor (EGF) production, EGF is a protein released in saliva that stimulates the growth and repair of epithelial tissue, including the intestinal epithelium.
2. You Are Stressed Out or Anxious
If you find yourself constantly asking “Why do I feel nauseous after eating?”, your stress levels could be the cause. Uncontrolled stress can set off a chain reaction in your body, leading to digestive issues and making you feel sick after meals. Taking steps to reduce your stress levels can help to alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing.
Your gut and brain have an intimate connection known as the gut-brain axis. When your body is in fight-or-flight mode due to stress, it releases hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, which can have a negative impact on your digestion. It’s important to recognize the connection between your mind and body and take steps to reduce stress in order to keep your gut-brain axis functioning properly.
Often, changes in gastrointestinal motility can result from disruptions in the digestive process. This can cause either constipation or diarrhea, as food moves through the GI tract at a slower or faster rate than normal. Additionally, changes in motility can lead to abdominal discomfort, bloating, and cramping.
Chronic stress can have a serious impact on the composition of your gut microbiome. Research suggests that when stress hormones are released in the gut, they can cause a shift in the balance of non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacteria, leading to an increase in potentially harmful bacteria. This can result in uncomfortable, and even dangerous, digestive health problems. To minimize the risks of chronic stress on your gut, it is important to practice stress relief and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation.
How to Become Stress Free?
Set boundaries for yourself and learn when to say ‘no’. Deep breathing can help you manage stress, while taking an evening Epsom salt bath and practicing yoga can help to release tension and refocus the mind. By setting boundaries and taking time to practice self-care, you can better manage stress and find a sense of balance and harmony.
3. Your Gut Microbiome is Out of Balance
Your gut microbiome is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms that play an essential role in your overall health and wellbeing. However, when the ratio of these microbes is disrupted or bacteria start growing where they shouldn’t (as is the case with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO), you can experience a range of uncomfortable post-meal symptoms. These imbalances can be caused by stress, unhealthy food choices, medications, and underlying health conditions. Taking steps to promote a healthy gut microbiome can help prevent and reduce these symptoms.
You may experience a range of uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as nausea, bloating, gas, burping, abdominal distension, and constipation or diarrhea, or a combination of the two. Unfortunately, a bacterial imbalance in your gut microbiome can also lead to leaky gut—where the gut lining becomes weakened, allowing substances that should stay within the gut to pass through into the bloodstream and potentially cause gut infections, food sensitivities, and nutrient deficiencies.
What to Balance Microbiome?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to restoring gut balance. To identify your unique imbalances and underlying conditions, seek the help of an integrative or functional medicine practitioner who can create a customized healing protocol tailored to your needs. To stay ahead of potential problems, consume a fiber-rich diet with a variety of plant foods, engage in regular physical activity, and take a probiotic supplement containing multiple beneficial bacteria strains. With the right guidance and proactive measures, you can keep your gut in balance.
4. You Have Acid Reflux Issue
A burning sensation in the middle of the chest that increases after eating, nausea, burping, and a sour taste in the mouth may indicate acid reflux, also referred to as heartburn. This happens when stomach contents, that have not been digested by stomach acid, are pushed back up into the esophagus. The acidity of these contents then causes discomfort by burning the lining of the esophagus.
Do you often experience heartburn and acid reflux after eating? You may be surprised to learn that it’s often caused by low stomach acid, rather than too much! When the levels of acid in your stomach are too low, your stomach and digestive tract struggle to break down your food properly. Additionally, certain foods and drinks (including alcohol) and overeating may also contribute to acid reflux. Taking steps to increase stomach acid levels may help to reduce your symptoms and restore balance to your digestive system.
When acid reflux occurs repeatedly, it can lead to a more serious condition known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or chronic acid reflux). Over time, the frequent acid reflux can damage the lining of the esophagus, weakening the lower esophageal valve which normally keeps stomach acids and food from flowing back up into the esophagus. When the valve is damaged, stomach acids and food can flow back up into the esophagus on a regular basis, causing discomfort and other symptoms.
How to Treat Acid Reflux at Home?
Try diluting one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) with water and drinking it before your meals to help reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux. ACV may help increase low stomach acid levels and reduce the pressure against the lower esophageal valve. To further prevent the buildup of pressure, you can also try shrinking your portion sizes or eating until you’re only 80 percent full.
5. You Are Taking Meals at Irregular Timings
When it comes to what you eat, when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Eating meals too close together or too far apart can lead to feeling nauseous after eating. Eating too frequently can also put strain on your digestive system, leading to sluggishness and bloating. To ensure you get the most out of your meals, be mindful of when you eat and how often you eat.
Constant snacking can interfere with the migrating motor complex (MMC), a vital cyclic movement in the stomach and small intestine. This movement helps food travel through the lower GI tract.
Normally, when your stomach is empty, this cycle occurs every 90-180 minutes. However, when you constantly snack, the MMC is inhibited and gastric motility is slowed, potentially leading to constipation and cramping. To keep your digestive system healthy, try to limit snacking and stick to regular meals.
How to Solve Irregular Meal Time Issue?
Become a creature of habit and be consistent with your meal times. Eating regular-sized meals, with a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates every three to four hours, can help regulate your blood sugar and support a healthy metabolism. This regular eating pattern gives your digestive system a chance to rest and heal between meals, promoting better overall health.