Nausea Due to Endometriosis
Published September 9, 2022.
Endometriosis is well known amongst women as the evil monster from which they cannot escape. Instead of the annoying cramping many women experience during their periods, women with endometriosis often experience severe pain that can be difficult to manage and can prevent them from going about their normal day.
While pelvic pain is the most common symptom, other symptoms of endometriosis include heavy menstruation, endo belly, painful bowel movements and urination, lower back pain, and sometimes even infertility. Endometriosis can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits.
Nausea is the “sick” uneasy feeling experienced in the stomach that often leads to vomiting. Many women report nausea as a symptom of their endometriosis, especially during their period or after meals.
Cause of Nausea With Existing Endometriosis
Medical experts unsure how endometriosis may lead to nausea, however, several factors may contribute to its onset. Pain is at the forefront of bringing about nausea due to the immense strain it puts on the body. The location of endometriosis and lesions in the lower abdomen can also cause nausea, especially if they're found near or in the woman's bowels, then nausea and vomiting are almost inevitable. Hormone imbalances—such as high estrogen levels—also play a role, therefore nausea is usually worse during the menstrual period.
Additionally, endometriosis lesions can swell and bleed during your period, resulting in a build-up of blood in an area that cannot be released with normal period blood. This causes pain, discomfort, and nausea. Increased levels of prostaglandins (compounds made of fats that have hormone-like effects in your body) during your period can play a role as well. They can cause your uterus to contract (tighten), causing intense and painful menstrual cramps which can directly contribute to feelings of nausea.
Triggers for Nausea
Your diet is one of the biggest triggers for nausea. Nausea after eating is incredibly common, therefore specific foods can be isolated as triggers due to their ability to influence inflammation and high estrogen levels which can cause nausea or make it worse. Due to endometriosis being associated with other digestive symptoms, the same symptoms and causes of endo belly can be applied here.
Estrogen is a key hormone in women, and we need it for normal functioning. But too much estrogen can aggravate endometriosis symptoms like cramping, pain, and nausea. Food plays an important role in balancing estrogen levels and reducing inflammation. It's advisable to avoid foods such as alcohol, high levels of caffeine, processed foods, and sugary drinks.
Stress is also a big trigger for nausea as it can increase inflammation in the body and make endometriosis symptoms worse.
Proactive Prevention of Endometriosis-Induced Nausea
Yes, you read right! Nausea associated with endometriosis can be prevented in the following ways:
- Changes in diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods, and whole grains.
- Change how you eat: Consume smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, don't eat too quickly, and avoid foods that may bring about nausea such as greasy, spicy foods.
- Posture and clothing: If you often feel bloated or nauseous after a meal, consider avoiding things that may place strain on your abdomen such as eating bent over, lying down while eating, and wearing tight-fitting clothing.
- Stress less: Easier said than done, but focus on reducing stress by meditating, listening to calm music, taking a warm bath, or engaging in a hobby you enjoy.
Remedies for Nausea
Here are some easy remedies to relieve nausea:
- Eat bland foods: This includes white rice, bananas, and unseasoned skinless chicken. Continue with this until your nausea disappears.
- Anti-nausea medications: These can be bought over the counter and taken as instructed.
- Stay upright: This can aid in digestion and may help nausea to pass.
- Ginger tea: One of the best home remedies for treating nausea.
- Peppermint: Also well known for treating nausea. Consider trying peppermint aromatherapy or drinking peppermint tea.
- Get fresh air: Breathing in some fresh air may also help ease feelings of nausea. Try opening a window or going outside until you start to feel better.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): Use Ovira or Livia to relieve your endometriosis symptoms.
Endometriosis can be debilitating and while there’s no cure, available treatment and remedy options can help make symptoms more manageable. Also consider reaching out to other women with endometriosis to share experiences and remedies, and provide support to one another, as things in life always seem less unbearable when we're not alone.