Everyone has overeaten once or twice and made themselves nauseous. However, if you regularly feel sick after eating, the cause may be an underlying health issue.
Digestive nausea is linked to a variety of different conditions. In this article, we’ll look at some medical complaints which cause nausea after eating. We’ll explain the various symptoms associated with nausea after eating and advise you when it’s time to see a doctor.
A wide variety of medical conditions or complaints can cause feelings of nausea after eating. These are a few of the most common1:
Many people have allergies or are intolerant to commonly eaten foods, including lactose products (e.g. milk and dairy), shellfish, gluten products (e.g. bread and pasta), or high FODMAP foods (foods rich in short-grain carbohydrates).2
Nausea is one symptom of food allergy or intolerance. Still, it is often accompanied by other symptoms, which can be as mild as uncomfortable gas, and as severe as hives, swelling, and anaphylactic shock.
Nausea after eating may be caused by these common digestive complaints:
Morning sickness is often one of the first indicators of pregnancy. However, ‘morning’ sickness can occur throughout the day and is frequently exacerbated after eating.5
Most women only experience feelings of sickness during the first trimester, unless they are suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes severe nausea and illness throughout the pregnancy.
Patients undergoing cancer treatment often report increased food intolerance or nausea after eating, which is a common side effect of chemotherapy.6
Severe migraines often coincide with digestive nausea, which medical professionals believe is because the gut and the brain communicate with each other.7 The so-called ‘gut-brain axis’ gives you stomach butterflies when you’re excited, and also makes you sick when you have a migraine.
Different medical complaints cause various symptoms, in addition to nausea:
Nausea in adults often goes away by itself. However, if you experience many of the symptoms described above, which last for more than a few day, consult a medical professional.
Nausea in children is typically more severe, and when accompanied by vomiting or fever, you should always consult a doctor.
Last updated: 24 March 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019
Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry
Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.
After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.