Reasons You May Have Nausea When You Wake Up
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
It is a common experience to feel a bit queasy when you first wake up in the morning. Sometimes, it quickly goes away once you get up. But it can also make it hard to start the day. And when you feel sick to your stomach, it is natural to wonder what’s happening. Did you eat something wrong or drink too much? Or maybe you’re pregnant? There are more reasons to experience nausea in the morning than you may think.
Why do you feel nauseated in the morning?
Morning nausea can happen to anybody, not just pregnant women. And several normal bodily processes can lead to nausea, especially in the morning.
The job of the stomach is to start the digestion process. It does this by squeezing your food and adding acid to help it break down. But when the stomach squeezes, sometimes its contents can go up instead of down, and this causes nausea and sometimes vomiting. It can worsen in the morning due to acid that has built up in the stomach overnight. It can also be due to undigested food that is still in the stomach from your last meal. The natural rise and fall of your hormones can also trigger nausea. In the morning, cortisol, the stress hormone, is at its highest level, which can cause nausea for some people. Nausea is a way of telling you something in your body that does not feel quite right. Fortunately, most of the time, nausea in the morning is temporary and not a significant cause for concern.
Causes of nausea in the morning
Here are some of the more common causes of morning nausea.
Fatigue - poor sleep and insomnia are among the most common causes of nausea in the morning. It is especially true when you do not wake up naturally, and your deep sleep is interrupted by an alarm clock, a phone call, or a crying baby.
Hunger or dehydration - when the body needs food or water, it will not always send typical hunger or thirst cues. Many times, nausea is the main symptom.
High or low blood sugar - is more common in people with diabetes because they’re more likely to have both high and low blood sugar in the morning. Low blood sugar can happen if their nighttime insulin dose is too high, especially long-acting insulin. And high blood sugar can occur if their insulin dose is too low or wears off while their body is still digesting food.
Acid reflux - acid reflux (GERD) does not always cause classic heartburn symptoms. It can also just cause nausea. It is prevalent in the morning because acid can build up overnight.
Gastroparesis - in this condition, the stomach does not empty as well as it should. And this leads to slowed digestion. Common causes include diabetes, marijuana use, and certain medications.
Mental health conditions - many people with depression and anxiety experience nausea and loss of appetite as a common symptom. But even people without these conditions can experience nausea in the morning when something in the upcoming day is causing a feeling of stress or dread.
Substance use - many people know how a hangover from alcohol can cause nausea. But withdrawal symptoms from any substance, including caffeine, can cause nausea.
Pregnancy - morning sickness is prevalent in pregnancy.
Migraine headaches - migraines are more common in the morning. While some people have terrible headaches, some get nauseated.
What can you do to help with morning nausea?
The best way to treat morning nausea is to determine the underlying cause. But even if you’re not sure what is causing it, here are a few things that may help:
Is morning nausea different from morning sickness?
Morning sickness refers to nausea from pregnancy-related changes in the body. About 75% of pregnant women experience nausea at some point during pregnancy. It is mainly due to high levels of hormones and slower digestion. Fortunately, morning sickness usually resolves independently after the first few months.
People choose to manage morning sickness differently. Some people avoid strong odors and have a small snack first thing in the morning. Others develop such bad morning sickness that they lose weight (hyperemesis gravidarum). Some medications for nausea are safe during pregnancy.
When should you see a doctor about morning nausea?
In general, experiencing morning nausea from time to time is nothing to worry about. But seeing your provider is a good idea if it happens several days in a row.
Be sure to seek immediate medical attention for morning nausea if you have the following:
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